4G tests show limited interference with TV signals

Worries about widespread problems may have been overblown

Worries about widespread problems may have been overblown; testing company warns there could still be issues

Concerns that 4G services might have interfered with the Freeview signal are largely unfounded, tests have shown.

In March, it was announced that Ofcom had commissioned research into the impact expanding 4G services in the UK would have on TV signals.

Both services use adjoining parts of the radio spectrum.

Tests were conducted by at800, a firm set up to troubleshoot potential problems with interference. It was funded by mobile phone operators.

Of the 200,000 homes in the London and West Midlands test areas, just 15 were found to be experiencing interference.

However, at800 has denied that the results of the test meant the money set aside to deal with the problem was unnecessary.

"It is important for us to exist so that we can take an appropriate approach to mitigating the effects of 4G depending on where it is rolled out," communication director at at800 Ben Roome told the BBC.

"The mobile firms were obliged to fund us but any money not spent, they do get back," he said.

Fears have been raised that the 800MHz band could disrupt Freeview transmissions to around 2 million homes in the UK.

at800 is now running tests in Brighton where problems are expected to be more widespread.

According to the company, TV signals in the area are much closer to the 800MHz band that will be used for some 4G services.

The geography of the area may also have more of an impact, the company warned. Brighton is much hillier than the areas that were previously tested.

"We have already seen a handful of issues there," added Roome.

4G services from Vodafone, O2 and Three are due to roll out in the next couple of months. EE's 4G offerings operate in a different part of the spectrum and as such, do not pose a risk to TV signals.