UK 4G network to cause Freeview fuzziness

The UK's 4G launch has hit another bump in the road, with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) telling the BBC that up to 900,000 homes could need filters installed to prevent Freeview TV interference from LTE mobile signals.

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey admitted there was a problem but said there were plans in place to alleviate any issues with the next-gen phone network.

"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," he said.

Those solutions include fitting a filter to a Freeview TV or set-top box to block out unwanted noise from the 4G signal for houses falling within a certain range of transmitter towers. And for homes where the filter isn't up to the job having satellite or cable TV platforms put in place with a cost of £10,000 put aside for homes unable to "find a solution".

But don't worry, the potential cost of £108 million won't be met by the tax-payer; it will be up to the winners of the 4G spectrum auction to foot the bill.

A final decision on the way Ofcom wants the 4G spectrum to be handled will be made in the summer. Don't get too excited though because we're not likely to have widespread availability in the UK until 2015. According to an Ofcom report published in December, the roll-out of 4G mobile services won't even begin until 2013/14.