Orange, SFR and Bouygues join forces on LTE TV interference trial

France Telecom Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom will conduct a joint trial to understand the likely interference caused by 800MHz LTE services to digital TV broadcasts.

The trial is scheduled to start in September after six-months of negotiations between the three operators and the government, the French digital economy minister, Fleur Pellerin, told the French newspaper L'Expansion, adding that the test will take place in Saint-Etienne.

The operators, which have already announced trials of LTE in cities such as Montpellier and Lyon using the 2.6GHz band, said there had been no impact on digital TV transmissions. The three operators each plan to launch commercial LTE service next year.

In a somewhat related move, earlier this month, the UK government confirmed that it had established a £180 million fund to help homeowners overcome digital TV interference caused by 800MHz LTE services.

In a letter to the UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, the Government admitted the problem was bigger than anticipated and many digital TV viewers would be affected unless action is taken to deal with interference.

UK Communication Minister Ed Vaizey said that vouchers will be offered to eligible households to pay for suitable filters to be installed, according to ITPro, but revealed that some households may have to switch to cable or satellite TV to overcome the problem.

Digital TV Freeview's managing director, Ilse Howling, has suggested the UK government and Ofcom should mandate a trial of LTE services on a limited basis ahead of a nationwide buildout.

For more:
- see this L'Expansion article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this ITPro article
- see this Les Echos article (translated via Google Translate)

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