4G switch-on unlikely to interfere with Londoners' Freeview enjoyment

4G switch-on unlikely to interfere with Londoners' Freeview enjoyment
Free ride for Freeview in London

The expected Freeview TV signal interruption following the UK's big 4G roll-out looks unlikely to materialise after tests in London showed no sign of interference.

The At800 group temporarily switched on the 4G masts in the capital at the potentially-problematic 800MHz spectrum and asked locals to report any instances of interference to their television signal.

The tests failed to result in a single complaint from residents, 28,000 of which had received a signal booster, paid for from a fund set up by the UK's mobile networks.

The London results follow similar findings in the West Midlands, where only 15 households from a catchment area of 22,000 reported a problem.

Big market

"London is a big and important market for 4G services and also has millions of Freeview viewers," said Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive of at800, which was set up to examine the potential impact of the 4G roll-out.

"Clearly it was essential for the broadcasters and the mobile operators that we run trials in London before a rollout of 4G at 800MHz."

It's not all smooth sailing from here on in though. London's Freeview signal is stronger than in other areas of the country, so more tests, including those currently underway in Brighton, will be carried out around the UK.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.