Home Terrestrial EE adds 5G services on ex-TV frequencies

EE adds 5G services on ex-TV frequencies

by RXTV-newsdesk

The mobile network operator is using the former Freeview TV frequencies at 50 unspecified locations across the UK, but won’t be fully able to utilise all of its new spectrum yet. Some households may suffer from Freeview interference as a result.

EE’s 5G services are now live across parts of the UK in the 700MHz frequency band. Those within range of the signal will be able to benefit from better indoor reception. When deployed in rural areas, 5G at 700MHz will be able to cover more areas from a single mast. However, it won’t be as speedy as other 5G services.

So far, EE has declined to name the 50 locations to benefit first from the roll-out. Instead, it’s directing users to check its coverage map instead.

Freeview interference

The deployment of EE’s 5G service in the 700 MHz band is expected to result in increased Freeview interference for some households living in the vicinity of a mast.

In recent weeks, Restore TV (formerly known as at800), the organisation set up by mobile operators to support affected viewers, has been notifying communities of potential issues. Locations include Berwick, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Filey, Morecombe, Paisley, Ramsgate and Retford. Support for affected households includes the installation of a new filter than can block interference from mobile signals. Full details about the support available can be found in Restore TV’s code of service document.

Issues are only expected to affect a small range of viewers. Out of a potential of millions, only 22,000 cases of interference were identified in the first four years of 4G rollout on former TV frequencies.

Not just EE is launching services in the 700MHz band. Both O2 and Three have already switched on services within their allocation of 700MHz spectrum (known as B28 [4G] or n28 [5G] in the mobile industry). Therefore, the locations quoted by Restore TV recently are not necessarily the same locations as EE’s new 5G service.

Part of EE’s recently acquired 700MHz spectrum won’t be available until the remaining Freeview services are removed. In the spring, Ofcom confirmed EE had been successful in acquiring supplementary downlink spectrum that uses the frequency currently used by Freeview HD multiplex COM7.

EE was the first UK network to launch 5G and has seen more than a seven-fold increase in people using its 5G network in the last 12 months, as more customers enjoy the increased speeds and enhanced reliability of the technology.

As part of its ongoing network investment, EE has pledged to extend its 5G network to reach half of the UK’s population by 2023, and offer 5G anywhere in the UK by 2028 through its macro network and ‘on demand’ connectivity solutions.

David Salam, Director of Mobile Networks, EE, said:

“We’ve got big ambitions for 5G connectivity in the next decade, and this is the latest milestone in our journey to provide our customers with unrivalled connectivity. This next stage of our 5G rollout will enable our customers to enjoy even better 5G, keeping them connected to the things that are most important to them.”

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