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An estimated 700,000 households could experience interference to the reception of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) following the switching on of the 4G/LTE mobile telephony transmitters.
The estimate comes from Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development which has commissioned the Bordoni Foundation to prepare a study in order to resolve the problem.
The new mobile network, which will bring ultra-wideband Internet on smart phones, tablets and USB sticks, will use the frequency of 800 MHz (one of three that will be used for 4G in Italy), adjacent to that used by some TV channels.
From January 2013, when the new generation of repeaters will be gradually turned on, these DTT channels risk disappearing or possible serious interferences to TV reception. The transmitters of mobile operator Wind, whose frequencies are closest to DTT channels, will likely be the creators of the problems – although Tim and Vodafone Italia could also contribute to the malfunction of DTT.
The compliance costs of the facilities should be borne by the telecommunications operators, although negotiations with the Ministry of Economic Development are still in progress. Citizens faced with reception problems will be able to call a switchboard, which in turn will activate one of the operators who will deal with the reorganisation of the signal.
The 4G/LTE service has been activated in November in some Italian cities, but is currently operational only on the frequency 1800 MHz and thus does not disturb DTT signals.