Rating: Offer of help only applies to those directly contacted
A test to help understand the extent to which 4G at 800 MHz may disrupt Freeview (free terrestrial TV) is to be run in the UK’s South East London area. at800 (the 4G sponsored body), is asking viewers in the area to report problems with television reception from Monday 15 April 2013. In effect, at800 is the organisation tasked with ensuring viewers continue to receive Freeview channels when 4G mobile services at 800 MHz are launched later in 2013.
Approximately 170,000 household and business addresses in parts of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets are being contacted directly to alert them to the test.
This larger-scale testing follows an initial small-scale test in the West Midlands.
The first tests were conducted in the Cradley Heath and Rowley Regis areas of the West Midlands between 18th- 30th March 2013.
at800 has a team of professional aerial installers and testing units in the area that will respond to calls from viewers, visit addresses reporting problems and restore Freeview.
Only new 4G services that will roll out at 800 MHz have the potential to cause problems to Freeview reception.
4G enables mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablet PCs to access the internet at super-fast speeds and is expected to bring innovations in business, entertainment, education and public services.
Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive of at800, said, “These larger tests are essential to help improve our forecast model and the way we’ll tackle potential issues caused by 4G at 800 MHz.”
He continued, “We are extremely grateful to viewers in South East London for their help with these important tests.”
If any readers live in the South East London [UK] area and notice problems with their Freeview service from 15th April, they can contact at800 by calling this premium rate number – 0333 31 31 800.
Callers will be asked for their postcode, the type of interference and the time it occurred. This will allow at800 to restore standard TV services as soon as possible.
GoMo News wonders how may people will actually bother to jump through these hoops, however.
For non-UK readers, Freeview is the television that viewers receive through their standard TV aerial. As opposed to internet based feeds.
at800 also warns that unless households have not been contacted directly through the post, or you watch cable or satellite TV, any interference to an existing Freeview service is therefore highly unlikely to be due to the 4G test.