Over the next few months, the new 4G mobile phone network will be ‘lit up’ across the country. 4G networks operate at 800MHz – roughly the same frequency band as some Freeview television transmissions. There is a possibility that the new 4G mobile phone signals will interfere with Freeview TV for a small number of households, particularly those close to a 4G phone mast. The estimate for the the number of affected households in the entire UK is 90,000 (out of a total of more than 24 million households). Satellite and cable TV will not be affected.
If your Freeview television signal is affected by the new 4G phone network, you can get a free aerial filter to sort the problem out. The aerial filters are supplied by Let’s Be Clear At 800, a consortium made up of EE, Vodafone, O2 and 3. The filter fits in between the aerial and the television, and should be easy for most people to fit in a couple of minutes. Let’s Be Clear At 800 will be sending out postcards to households that they believe may be affected by the 4G switch on over the next few months.
Some people, in particular older people, visually impaired people or those with a disability, may not be able to fit the filter to their own television aerial. Special arrangements are being made for engineers to visit these households and fit aerial filters, which subject to certain criteria will also be free of charge. People in multiple occupancy accommodation sharing a communal aerial will need to speak to their housing provider, or whoever looks after the communal aerial.
Ceartas, OPAL – the Older People’s Access Line, and EDVA – East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action will be raising awareness of the issue across East Dunbartonshire over the next few months. No date has been set for ‘lighting up’ the 4G network in this area, but it should be happening at some point in 2013, and we would like to ensure that our service user groups are properly prepared for the eventuality.
For more information about the implications of the 4G switch on, visit the Let’s Be Clear At 800 website, or if you think your Freeview television reception has been affected by the 4G network, you can call them on 0333 31 31 800.