A total of 28,000 homes in west London are to receive free 4G filters to avoid interference on their digital TV sets.
The filters are being provided by the at800 organisation that has been setup to ensure 4G services in the 800MHz spectrum band do not cause homes around the UK to lose digital TV services, which operate in the adjacent 700MHz range.
So far tests have been carried out in the Midlands and South East London to see how prevalent the issue may be, although the first tests in the Midlands saw only 15 homes register any complaints, from a total of 22,000.
The latest test are taking place in Brentford and Isleworth areas and at800 has already sent filters out ahead of the trials to see how the public reacts to the devices arriving on their door step, the organisations head of communications, Ben Roome, explained to V3.
“We want to understand the consumer reaction to receiving a small box with a device (pictured below) we’re asking them to fit to their televisions” he said.
“Will it help reduce the inbound number of calls to our call centres by allowing users to mitigate against the issue before it happens, or will it create confusion and doubt?”
Roome explained that once the trials are completed the organisation will stick to ensuring all residents in a given area are warned of any potential issues at least four weeks before 4G services go live in that location.
“We’ll receive information from operators on their rollout plans in different areas, such as which base stations they intend to turn on and to what power levels, and we can coordinate that with the digital TV spectrums and see where there may be issues.”
He also confirmed a fourth trial is set to take place in the near future but declined to give any specific information on where this would take place.
Vodafone and O2 are expected to start delivering 4G services in the 800MHz range in the near future after the auctions for the spectrum holdings concluded in February, raising £2.3bn for the government.
This was £1bn short of the government’s estimates, though, and spending watching the National Audit Office is now carrying out a probe into whether the auctions achieved the best possible return.
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