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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 98125 24-Feb-2012 11:31
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Almost a million UK homes will need to have filters installed to prevent TV interference from 4G mobile signals - at a cost of £108m.

A smaller number of homes - about 10,000 - will need to switch to satellite or cable TV services in order to avoid degraded picture quality.

Homes that cannot receive these alternative platforms will receive up to £10,000 each to "find a solution".

Costs will be met by the winner of a spectrum auction later this year.

Consultations are currently being held into how spectrum - which is used by analogue television - will be offered to mobile operators once airwaves are freed up by the switch to digital.

These airwaves are crucial to mobile operators to create next-generation mobile services.

The winning bidder, or bidders, will be required to pay for the costs of making sure viewers of digital terrestrial television (DTT) will not be affected by the changes.
Unwanted noiseIn a consultation document released in August last year, media regulator Ofcom estimated that about 760,000 homes could be affected.

However, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told the BBC that further research had suggested that number was likely to be closer to 900,000.

Homes falling within a certain range of transmitter towers will automatically have a filter issued, while a helpline will be set up to deal with interference cases outside of the predicted areas.

The filter, which is fitted to a digital TV box, blocks out unwanted noise from the 4G signal.
 “Start Quote If you give £10,000 to a lady in Cumbria and say: 'You need to fix it' - I don't think it's enough”End Quote Saverio Romeo Industry analystIt can be fitted without the help of an engineer - but over-75s and disabled people will be given assistance if needed.

The DCMS said that in a very small number of homes, the filters would not be sufficient. A platform change - to satellite or cable - will be required, the cost of which will also be covered by the mobile operator.

It is estimated that about 10,000 homes may need to take this measure.

It is also predicted that about 500 homes affected by interference will be unable to receive satellite or cable services.

In these cases, expected to be in rural areas, up to £10,000 per household will be provided to fund alternative solutions to receiving television - such as having fibre cabling installed.

The DCMS said it predicted that small groups of affected houses would be able to pool their funding in order to pay for bigger investments like additional relay transmitters.
'Disruptive'Without the preventative measures, television picture would become unclear and fragmented, warned Saverio Romeo, an industry analyst from Frost & Sullivan.

"The LTE [Long Term Evolution] spectrum, particularly on 800Mhz, overlaps part of the DTT spectrum," he said. 

"The closer you are to a base station, the more disruptive the interference."

He said that in addition to the £10,000 fund for the severely disrupted homes, education should be provided in order to help people understand what options were available.

"If you give £10,000 to a lady in Cumbria and say: 'You need to fix it' - I don't think it's enough.

"You need to help people understand new technologies. It's not enough to give subsidies."

A spokesman for the DCMS said added advice would be given to those receiving the financial help.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said adoption of 4G would provide a boost to the UK's digital economy.

"Next-generation mobile services are essential for economic growth. They will bring an estimated benefit of £2-3bn to the UK economy.

"There will be some interference when 4G services are rolled out but we will have the solutions in place to eliminate the disruption to television viewers."




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 586163 24-Feb-2012 11:35
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Hi, I mentioned this potential interference issue about 4yrs ago but there seemed to be no acknowledgement of the potential issues to DTT/DVB-T services by either cellular forums or Broadcasters. There was at that time an acknowledgement of issues with DVB-C/HFC services which I understand are still not fixed.

Cyril

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  Reply # 586165 24-Feb-2012 11:37
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Ouch!

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 586219 24-Feb-2012 13:10
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The APT band plan (which NZ should follow) offers a 9MHz guard band between DTT and future services in the planned digitial dividend allocation above 700MHz. This should minimise interference between the 2 services unlike the 1MHz gaurd band in the UK situation.

For a bit of background, the MED scoping workshop presentation on 700MHz reuse is here 



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  Reply # 586223 24-Feb-2012 13:17
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Hi Pete, would be interesting to know just how well your typical domestic DVB-T TV tuner will perform with a 2-3watt (basepower) LTE transmitter just a few meters away even if 100MHz away I would suggest the front end will suffer, most of these tuners have little if any tangible protection (for quite some bandwidth) of the very frontend stages, will be interesting to see how things pan out.

Cyril

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  Reply # 586224 24-Feb-2012 13:21
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Cyril,

my co worker acutally has done some work in this area and is presenting it at a conference in the near future. It went into some of the work for the APT working group from memory. If I find him this afternoon and its in the public domain, I'll try and post a link to it.

Pete

ps any comments I make do not reflect my employers opinion!  

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