What is 4G TV interference?
New fourth-generation mobile services, known as 4G, have been switched on in Britan – which may cause 4G TV interference to households that receive Freeview.
4G gives people faster access to the internet on smartphones and tablets. However, there is a small chance that some 4G mobile signals transmitted at 800MHz will cause interference to Freeview, which is TV received via an aerial.
Because 4G at 800MHz signals sit next to the frequencies used by Freeview, they can overload the receivers in TVs and set-top boxes causing 4G TV interference.
Signs of interference are a loss of sound, pictures going blocky, freezing or the TV screen going blank or showing a ‘No Signal’ message.
Fortunately, help is available. Set up under Government direction, a company called at800 offers free support to households that rely on Freeview for their TV to resolve 4G related interference problems so that viewers can keep enjoying their favourite programmes.
It is funded by the UK mobile operators licensed to use the 800MHz spectrum for mobile services: EE, Telefónica UK (O2), Three and Vodafone.
The company contacts households it predicts may be affected by the issue before 4G at 800MHz is switched on in their area. It also writes to businesses, councils, social housing departments, care homes, hospitals, schools and universities to advise what action needs to be taken.
How You Get 4G TV interference?
The company also offers extra support for the elderly and those that receive disability premiums (income support).
Ben Roome, chief executive officer of at800, said: “We want to ensure that people know it’s our role to fix Freeview interference caused by 4G at 800MHz, and that there’s no charge for our service.
“If you rely on Freeview for TV, we can arrange for one of our accredited engineers to visit homes to fix Freeview interference caused by 4G signals, free of charge. If you use Freeview alongside other TV services, we can send free filters which block mobile signals that are easy to fit to the aerial lead connecting to TVs and set-top boxes.”
Cable and satellite TV, like Sky or Virgin, won’t be affected. However, if viewers have cable and satellite TV and also watch Freeview, at800 can provide free filters and advice, but not in-home engineer support.
People who live in communal properties should contact at800 and also advise their landlords. The company can provide free filters to landlords but property managers are responsible for the cost of fitting these.
The company also offers extra support for people who are 75 years of age or older, are registered blind or partially sighted or receive any of the following benefits: personal independence payments (PIPs); attendance allowance; constant attendance allowance or War Pensioner’s Mobility Support.
Any viewers who experience new 4G TV interference to Freeview can contact at800 on 0808 13 13 800 (free from landlines and mobiles) or via the website.