Will I need a filter when the 5G mobile broadband services start in 2020?
Freeview Deja vu
The issue arose because the new mobile broadband services were using frequencies that had been used for Freeview and analogue TV before them. The peaceful coexistence of digital television and digital mobile data services was expected, but not a given.
The good news is that the projected levels of problems for Freeview users turned out to be quite accurate and quite low. The Hundreds of millions that were put aside have been returned to the mobile broadband companies, lowering the price to their customers.
The new generation of mobile broadband services will operate in addition to the current ones (GSM, 3G and 4G) in the UK, and will use the 700MHz band of frequencies have been “cleared” by several years of careful chess-like manipulation of the frequencies that Freeview uses.
The new generation of services will use much smaller “cells” of operation from each mobile mast. Each mobile phone tower will be like a immobile glitter-ball, diving into many hundreds the sub-areas operated from each mobile phone mast. Tests have shown that this will be able to increase the real-world data rates for each mobile broadband customer.
Will I need my existing filter?
If you already had a 4G mobile phone filter, once all of the Freeview frequency changes have happened (June 2020) you will be able to remove it from you TV set or set top box as it will no longer be required.
It won’t protect you from the 5G services, so you will need to send it for suitable recycling.
Will I need a 5G 700MHz filter?
The quick answer is probably not.
The longer answer is that you will need to get a (free, presumably) filter if:
- Your TV aerial points in the direction of a 5G mobile tower; and
- Your Freeview signal is sub-optimal; and
- You are using a TV signal amplifier.
If the above conditions are true, you will also need to be:
- Using a multiplex broadcast on C47 or C48 – the new top of the Freeview range;
- Have a mast with a 5G service (they will take years to roll out)
- Be using the BBCB multiplex for Freeview HD (as they will use C47/C48)
I have updated the page at https://ukfree.tv/at700/list/all to highlight the transmitters with C47/C48 after 700MHz clearance is complete.
|Current Freeview changes make it a little less reliable||1|
Andrew Ripley: I guess that this whole process was always going to be like this.
It was always possible that Freeview could have cleared itself into the lower range that it will use by 2021 earlier, but it would have caused a lot of cost and disruption to an unmanageable number of homes.
There is still likely changes ahead in the next decade too.
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Chris Warner: FreeSports is broadcast on the COM8 multiplex from Crystal Palace, although you will need a wideband aerial rather the Group A which was commonly used for Crystal Palace in the past. If you provide a full postcode we can see what reception of COM8 is predicted to be like at your location.
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