Feeds

Telly apocalypse foretold for 4G arrival fails to hit London: Brighton next

Good frequency fences make good neighbours, seemingly

The Power of One Infographic

Freeview-watching Londoners are safe from 4G interference, with trials failing to elicit even a single complaint - thanks to the capital's comprehensive coverage and its use of a Freeview band well clear of invading 4G signals.

The tests were carried out by at800, the body charged with spending £180m in mobile-network cash to mitigate forecast interference which is stubbornly failing to manifest.  A test network around Dudley managed to generate 15 complaints, all swiftly addressed, and ongoing trials in Brighton have knocked out Freeview for a handful of viewers (again swiftly fixed) but predictions that 4G telephony would leave two million homes bereft of TV were, it seems, wide of the mark.

The frequencies sold off early this year, and bought by the mobile operators, include a band at 800MHz previously used for analogue TV and the fear was that dodgy TV signal boosters would amplify the 4G signal and knock out Freeview. But with no information on how many boosters were fitted, or how old they were, the scale of the problem was very hard to quantify: which is why operators were cajoled into stumping up the cash and testing has been proceeding with such caution.

Interference wasn't expected in London as the Freeview signal is strong across the capital and the telly frequencies used there are well clear of the 4G networks.  Significant problems would have been disastrous for the mobile operators, but no problems at all is only an issue for at at800 which needs to justify the small mountain of filters it's already ordered in anticipation of problems.

The answer is to mail them out proactively, which is why 28,000 were sent out to Londoners before the test transmissions began. No one will ever know how many are sitting, unused, on hallway tables - or how many will end up in landfill next year - but the mass mailing lets at800 (and, by extension, the network operators) take credit for solving the problem before it appeared.

Brighton will be a more interesting test: the Freeview signal there is right alongside where Three will be deploying 4G, and the local topography restricts the Freeview signal. A few cases of interference have already popped up, but in general it seems that DVB-T (as used by Freeview) and LTE (as used by 4G) are making for good spectrum neighbours.

As the proverb has it, good fences make good neighbours, but we'll never know if the mailshotted frequency fences actually had much effect in this particular case. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.