The impact of rollout in the 800 MHz band on terrestrial television – a summary for the years 2012 and 2013 - PTS-ER-2014:23

09/06/2014

This report covers the measures done with regard to impact from the broadband expansion in the 800 MHz band on terrestrial television. The report concerns the years 2012 and 2013. In May 2012, the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) produced a similar report, in which a number of measurements were carried out by the authority in order to investigate the interference. For this report, PTS has requested information from the licenced operators Hi3G, Net4Mobility and TeliaSonera Mobile regarding the handling of reported television interference during 2012 and 2013.

The Swedish Telecom Advisors function as a common party for the three mobile operators who have been assigned frequencies in the 800 MHz band, and act in the role of coordinator of consumer reports on television interference. On assignment from the operators they have submitted data to PTS for the last two years.

Before the 800 MHz decision, it was apprehended to be considerable problems with interference in relation to television reception. The statistics show that in 2012, approximately 150 reports of relevant television interferences were received, i.e., reports from residents in areas where 800 MHz transmitters are located. In 2013, the number increased to just over 400 such reports to the Swedish Telecom Advisors. This may be due to increased interferences related to the expansion of the 800 MHz networks. The increase may have some other technical reasons and also an increased general knowledge of The Swedish Telecom Advisors may have some impact.

One way to remedy television interference caused by the expansion of the 800 MHz band is to connect a frequency filter to the television receiver. The frequency filters attenuate the signals from the 800 MHz band without affecting the television signal. During the second half of 2013, the mobile operators have in average, sent out sixty filters monthly. Out of these, the person who reported the original interference has come back in a few cases when the filter has not solved the problem. The exact number of filters that actually have been used or had the intended effects is unknown.

In the cases where PTS has proceeded with measurements of television interferences, the 800 MHz signal has not in these cases reached the licence conditions definition of interferences. Often, it has instead been the case of deficiencies in the television installation that have caused the problem.

PTS concludes that the mobile operators fulfil the coordination requirement in the 800 MHz licence through the Swedish Telecom Advisors' role as coordinator of reports of television interference, and that the procedures for sending filters from the mobile operators has functioned well.

Three years after assigning frequencies and a relatively comprehensive expansion of mobile services in the 800 MHz band, PTS concludes that the licence conditions have been adequate and well balanced. The impact on receiving digital terrestrial television has been limited. The license conditions fulfill their function and protect the reception of terrestrial television. In cases where the impact has been detected a solution has been offered.