Published: 03:17 EDT, 6 June 2013 | Updated: 03:56 EDT, 6 June 2013
Millions of households could suffer interference with their television signal or even lose it entirely as thousands of 4G masts are switched on over the coming weeks.
The company tasked with overseeing the launch of new super-fast mobile phone services has given companies the go-ahead to start their roll-outs in Greater London.
Experts fear this will cause chaos with TV sets because three major operators would be able to use 4G signals on very similar frequencies to Freeview.
Bad reception: Millions of households could suffer interference to their TV signal or lose it entirely when 4G masts are switch on over the coming weeks, experts warn
A source told The Daily Telegraph: 'From July, London is going to start to light up.
'By the end of the year, there could be thousands of masts carrying 4G. The broadcasters in particular are getting very jittery about this.'
Share this articleShare
In postcards advising Londoners of the roll-out, at800, the industry-funded body responsible for steering the launch, insists only a 'small minority' of people are likely to be affected.
But it admitted it has ordered in 'a few million' filters that concerned householders can fix to the aerial to remedy any interference.
Ofcom, meanwhile, estimates that up to two million people could suffer nationwide due to the number and power of the 4G base stations.
Interference? The company tasked with overseeing the launch of new super-fast mobile phone services has given companies the go-ahead to start switching on their 4G masts
New generation: 4G services, first rolled out by EE, offer download speeds at least five to seven times faster than those of existing 3G networks
The regulator warned in February that one per cent of UK households could be left with no broadcast television at all.
Three operators - 02, 3Mobile and Vodafone - could be able to launch on the 800mhz frequency in London, close to the 700mhz used by Freeview, leading industry insiders to warn that some homes could lose sounds, pictures or even entire channels.
Further launches will also be phased in throughout the country. Tests have been carried out by at800 in Brighton and York.
EE - the only operator to have so far launched 4G packages - uses the 1800mhz frequency, well clear of the TV band.
SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
With the switch-over of TV services to digital, a band of frequencies previously used by TV is being made available for phone firms to offer high speed 4G services.
In certain circumstances, it is possible that new 4G services at 800mhz could interfere with some existing terrestrial digital TV signals.
This means viewers may need to fit a filter or, in around 40,000 cases, use cable or satellite providers.
at800 spokesman Ben Roome, said: 'We are scaled up for anticipated problems.
'But so far in tests in south-east London, although we have received calls from lots of households, any problems they have been having with their television has not been caused by interference from 4G.'
Satellite and cable TV services are unlikely to be affected by 4G at 800 MHz.
For the typical user, download speeds of initial 4G networks should be at least five to seven times faster than those of existing 3G networks.
EE, which was formed from the merger of Orange and T-Mobile, was the first company to offer a 4G network in the UK.
It plans to extend the service to around 80 locations - and approximately 55 per cent of the UK population - by this month.
Since launching 4G, the company said it had observed a 'huge shift' in the way people use mobile phones.
This includes an increase in the number of consumers using video, maps and sat-nav tools.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2336706/Millions-households-lose-television-signal-4G-network-switched-on.html