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Ofcom looks at threat to DTT reception from mobile broadband

UK regulator Ofcom has set out proposals to ensure that digital-terrestrial TV will continue to function alongside the introduction of mobile broadband services from 2013.

Ofcom plans to auction 800MHz spectrum for 4G mobile services, to be launched after digital switchover next year. Ofcom has admitted that signals from mobile base stations could cause interference to DTT reception, affecting up to 3% of DTT viewers in the absence of measures to solve the problem. The measures proposed by the regulator include the introduction of filters to TV aerials to block the signals that interfere with TV reception. Ofcom proposes that “the majority” of the costs should be borne by future 800MHz licensees.

In cases where filters are ineffective (estimated by Ofcom to include about 0.1% of all DTT viewers), the regulator says that some viewers may need to switch platforms.

The initial consultation period ends on August 11. The regulator said it was carrying out further research and expected to publish a further consultation in the autumn.

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