LTE handsets could cause interference, warns cable trade body

LTE handsets operating in the 800MHz Digital Dividend band could cause interference to set-top boxes and cable modems, warns Cable Europe, a European trade association.

According to Cable Europe, research undertaken by Excentis claims that the majority of LTE devices, when used indoors, will be operating at maximum transmit power. This is likely to cause interference problems to devices such as cable modems and set-top boxes that are within a 6 metre range of the LTE handset.

While this interference range of 6 metres is a probable maximum, the Excentis report claims that over a third of LTE devices used in urban areas will have to operate at high power and at these levels would likely cause interference if the user came within 3 meters of in home consumer equipment.

At distances of 1 metre the chance of the LTE handset causing interference becomes very high, although Cable Europe accepts that the exact level of disruption for all distances depends on the type and position within the home of the cable modem or set-top.

The report also warns about the possible interference problems LTE femtocells and picocells could cause if sited near to cable equipment. LTE bases stations are also seen by Cable Europe as potential sources of interference, but with the capability of causing disruption for 100 per cent of the time.

Commenting on the report, Caroline Van Weede, MD of Cable Europe, said that it was important to understand how the LTE interference would affect consumers in real life situations. "This study does just that--with a variety of scenarios that examine best and worst case settings. And we are still not satisfied that the consumer will be appropriately protected. We would like to see solutions from all players be considered in light of cable's efforts to boost mitigation moving forward."

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