New firm plots mission to save millions of Freeview homes from 4G mobile-led blackout

By Jon Rees, Financial Mail On Sunday


A company set up to help the 2.3million households likely to lose Freeview TV as superfast internet for mobile phones launches aims to become operational next week.

Digital Mobile Spectrum Ltd, to launch formally on March 15, is backed by phone giants EE, Vodafone, Telefonica and Three, which will fund it with 180million over three years.

DMSL also has a brief to be operational no later than 12 weeks before 4G (fourth generation) mobile internet services start on the 800 MHz frequency.

Backing: The new company is supported by phone giants EE, Vodafone, Telefonica and Three

Backing: The new company is supported by phone giants EE, Vodafone, Telefonica and Three

This suggests the main phone firms are unlikely to launch 4G until June, though EE already offers 4G over its network.

This operates in major cities but does not interfere with TV signals because it uses the 1,800MHz radio spectrum band originally allocated for 2G mobile networks. The 800MHz band, best suited to carry 4G to rural areas, is likely to interfere with Freeview, which uses the adjacent 700MHz band.


Part of this frequency was awarded to O2 with a brief to provide 98 per cent of the population with access to mobile internet services.

Most of the estimated 2.3million homes affected by the loss of Freeview can have the service restored by using a filter, which DMSL will supply free.

‘We will do this no later than four weeks before 4G services become available in affected areas and we will target affected households in a direct mail campaign,’ said DMSL.

However, almost 40,000 homes could lose their Freeview signal permanently as the filter will not work in all circumstances.

These households will be offered alternatives such as Freesat and those aged over 75 or disabled will be entitled to extra help.

Will you be affected and what should you do? Visit


The comments below have not been moderated.

Freesat will not be a replacement for Freeview, they have a different channel line up. Yet another greedy, ill thought out plan by a clueless government, oh and what are those that cannot have an ( ugly ) satellite dish installed, supposed to do ?

Click to rate     Rating   1

I won't be missing much because 95% of progs are mostly cooking,selling or women's soaps.Another plus if the signal is lost is that it will encourage me to go out more often and get some fresh air, although I already get plenty of fresh air to escape from all the rubbish that's broadcast.

Click to rate     Rating   6

Another example of forward planning by Ofcom. Why we pay these incompetents to chop and change and use their tiny minds to make costly mistakes I'll never know. Just another quango.

Click to rate     Rating   22

A few years back the government had to sort and assist people in preparation for the digital switchover. So, its happening all over again? Will the company be asking the Government for details of people on state pension and other benefits?

Click to rate     Rating   13

Did we really want a circular link to fmwf ?? The Financial Mail's Women's Forum ?? Incidentally id there a male equivalent? In the meantime I guess we just wait and see if our freeview vanishes this summer!

Click to rate     Rating   10

makes you want a holiday --- but dont use thomas cook airlines because they are awful.

Click to rate     Rating   2

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