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New Risks for Digital Dividend Caused by Interference


23 Sep 2010



Latest analysis underscores need to take into account interference effects of LTE base stations in populated areas, analyzes new real life situations

(Brussels, 23 September) As Europe moves this week to push forward wide reaching proposals crucial to the ICT industry, latest research points to a new risk for interference as moves to allocate new spectrum continue to be debated. The novel research also analyses real life situations to better understand what sorts of interference scenarios users of in home consumer equipment may face as newer, more powerful LTE devices are on a collision course with existing tv and broadband connections.

“Impact analysis is crucial as we get closer to new usages for the precious spectrum that will take part in Europe’s recovery. What we have now seen is that the debate on interference continues and so does attention to the risks to manage,” said Caroline Van Weede, Managing Director of Cable Europe. “One new element in this equation is the risk of interference caused by base stations used for LTE. In cities where these stations are among more densely packed areas, it is important to understand how consumers and business would deal with being next to a fixed source of interference.”

The research is undertaken by Excentis, providers of specialized testing and access network technology research for worldwide firms, and is in line with a concerted European effort to assess ongoing risks associated with interference. The report states that “the required distance to avoid interference varies between different models of consumer premises equipment, but for some models a distance of even more than 6 meters is required.” The report goes on to highlight the base station issue, “if interference is caused by the base station it is likely to be constantly

present... Moreover, the user has no control on the signal of the base station.” The report cites an example where 35% 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.

“With Europe’s ICT sector responsible for 5% of EU GDP and 40% of last year’s growth, it’s key to understand how the LTE interference will affect consumers in real life situations. This work 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,” continued Van Weede. “We would like to see solutions from all actors be considered in light of cable’s efforts to boost mitigation moving forward.”

At the nexus of both infrastructure and content, Cable Europe underscores the importance of building out high speed fibre-powered networks which will continue to play a key role in providing high quality European content with the best platform possible. Ensuring that the performance of these Digital Agenda-era networks perform optimally is of the highest priority.

Note to editors:

Previous technical position paper with background to debate on interference can be found at:,cntnt01,details,0&cntnt01documentid=118&cntnt01returnid=81

Presentation delivered at this year’s European Commission workshop on LTE interference:,cntnt01,details,0&cntnt01documentid=119&cntnt01returnid=81

Gregg Svingen

Director of Communications

Cable Europe/Cable Europe Labs
Avenue des Arts 41, 1040 Brussels, Belgium

+32 2 556 2102  

+32 476 490 603