1. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
    TV blackout for millions | UK News | Express.co.uk - Home of the Daily and Sunday Express

    A TOP Tory last night called for an urgent probe into new 4G mobile phone technology amid Government warnings that masts will cause interference and blackouts to millions of television sets.
    John Whittingdale, chair of the influential Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee, warned ministers they were rushing ahead with superfast mobile broadband without fully grasping the consequences for an estimated 2.3million homes.

    He said a lack of publicity meant barely anyone was aware terrestrial TV signals were at risk, and that in many cases people would have to bin expensive Freeview boxes and buy cable or satellite dishes instead.

    He said viewers who had only recently bought new equipment for the digital switchover would be very cross to find their signals had suddenly disappeared next year.
    Freeview as well as ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC, are understood to be very exercised about the problem.

    The Government is expected to begin its 5billion auction for new 4G licences within weeks, a process that is due to end by February.
    11-11-12 03:25 AM
  2. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
    The new masts will operate at the 800mhz spectrum, which is close to the 700mhz at which Freeview is broadcast.

    Existing 4G services, which were launched 12 days ago by operator Everything Everywhere--a venture between Orange and T-mobile—operate at 1800mhz and they have no effect on TV signals.

    Ofcom believes 2.3 million homes will be affected by the next phase.

    Of those, almost 40,000 are predicted to lose their TV signal entirely, giving people no option but to buy satellite or cable packages from companies such as Sky or Virgin.

    Most of the rest will have to fit special aerial filters to counter persistent interference from 4G masts.

    Theatres, TV programme-makers and concert organisers are also likely to be affected because their microphones currently operate at close to the 4G spectrum.

    The Government concedes there is a problem and has set aside a pot of 180million to mitigate the effects.

    That includes installing filters at specified 4G base stations and providing one free aerial filter worth 20 to every home affected.

    However, people would have to buy their own filters for any other sets they own.

    Ofcom has identified areas likely to be worst hit, with homes served by the Crystal Palace transmitter in London and by the Winter Hill transmitter in Lancashire at the top of the list.

    Mr Whittingdale was so concerned about the risks that he called a debate in Parliament at the end of last month.

    He told MPs the Government was worried about falling behind the rest of Europe with the rollout of 4G at the prized 800mhz spectrum.

    However, he said Britain was different to other countries because so many people used Freeview as opposed to cable and satellite television.
    11-11-12 03:29 AM

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