at800 – the organisation responsible for ensuring people continue to receive free-to-air television when 4G mobile services operating at 800 MHz are launched – has confirmed that it will offer help to people whose TV is affected by new mobile masts until at least the end of 2020.
The decision has been taken as the UK mobile operators continue to expand and enhance mobile services over the next two years. Since 2013, at800 has helped over 260,000 households with issues receiving Freeview related to the rollout of 4G services at 800 MHz.
“Mobile operators are continuously improving their 4G service and want to ensure this does not inconvenience Freeview viewers,” noted Ben Roome, CEO of Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited (DMSL) the company that runs the at800 programme. “Continuing to offer support via at800 allows operators to focus on their core business, while we fix any issues this may cause to TV reception.”
“We want to ensure that people know that it will continue to be our role to fix Freeview interference caused by 4G at 800 MHz, through to the end of 2020, and that there’s no charge for our service. If you rely on Freeview for TV, we can send you a filter, which simply fits onto the aerial lead connection to TVs and set-top boxes, to block mobile signals. Full instructions are included, and we can provide further advice online and by phone if needed.”
“In most instances, fitting the filter will resolve TV signal problems, but if this isn’t the case, we may also be able to arrange a follow-up visit from an at800 engineer at no cost, depending on eligibility.”
Cable and satellite TV, such as Sky or Virgin, won’t be affected.
People who live in communal properties should contact at800 and also advise their landlords. at800 can provide free filters to landlords, but property managers are responsible for fitting them to communal aerial installations.
With further 4G masts set to go live, any viewers who experience new interference to Freeview are encouraged to contact at800.
DMSL also helps deliver a government viewer support programme enabling 700 MHz spectrum to be cleared from use by TV and made available for future mobile services.