Supervising the use of frequencies and the radio device market 2014

Published 13.05.2015

In 2014 FICORA investigated and solved a total of 149 radio interference cases reported to it. Disruptions were caused for example by TV antenna amplifiers in household.

Radio interference and supervising the use of frequencies

FICORA investigated and solved a total of 149 radio interference cases reported to it as part of its technical supervisory tasks. These were associated with TV reception and disruptions in mobile networks. The majority of disruptions in mobile networks were caused by TV antenna amplifiers in households. In many cases, the problems with TV reception were revealed to have been caused by a factor other than external radio interference.

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Figure: The number of radio interference cases investigated by FICORA in 2005–2014.

FICORA supervises the use of frequencies at various sporting events and music festi-vals. In 2014, FICORA supervised the use of frequencies at six sporting events: the Lahti Ski Games, the Biathlon World Cup competition held in Kontiolahti, the Neste Rally, the Alpine Ski World Cup event at Levi, and the FIS World Cup event at Ruka. At international sporting events, the number of frequency users is high. Teams use radiotelephones to communicate within the team, whereas the media use frequencies to produce their programmes and distribute TV broadcasts. At music festivals, frequencies are similarly used actively. FICORA's experts check all radio devices carried to the festival area and their radio licences in order to verify that they operate on the correct frequencies. During events, the use of frequencies is monitored in order to quickly eliminate any interference.

Problems in TV reception

Every year, FICORA processes a large number of queries concerning problems in TV reception. In 2014, new problems were caused by 800 MHz base stations and wind power plants.

From the beginning of 2014, the use of wireless broadband networks was started in the 800 MHz range which was previously used in TV operations. FICORA was actively monitoring the elimination of problems in TV reception in relation to the start of new 800 MHz LTE networks. During the year, operators eliminated more than 6,000 disturbances in TV reception. However, the number of disturbances caused by LTE networks is low considering that more than 95 per cent of Finnish people were within the coverage area of the 4G network.In addition, wind turbines may have an effect on TV reception and mobile commu-nications services. In 2014, FICORA, assisted by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd , investigated how wind power plants affect terrestrial TV reception and mobile networks. The results will be utilised in future projects in order to secure service continuity. Problems in TV reception were often caused by insufficient antenna systems of customers. At the beginning of 2014, FICORA issued a regulation on TV antenna, the requirements of which have been communicated actively to antenna installers and consumers.

Market supervision of radio equipment

Through market supervision of radio equipment, FICORA ensures that radio frequencies are used effectively and without interference. FICORA supervised the compliance of radio and telecommunications terminal devices through inspections and measurements. As part of preventive supervision, FICORA monitored the sale of radio devices in online shops and at industrial exhibitions.

FICORA took part in a European supervisory campaign, investigating the compliance of mobile network repeaters. This comprises an important part of the prevention of radio disturbances caused by repeaters.

Additionally, FICORA has investigated the compliance of wireless weather stations and maritime VHF telephones through technical measurements. Wireless weather stations have caused radio interference that prevents the remote keyless systems of cars from working properly. FICORA set sales bans on non-compliant devices and proposed that the European standard on weather stations be specified in order to prevent any disturbances.

This article is a part of FICORA's Communications Sector Review 2014 (1/2015).

Key words: Radio , Spectrum , Television , Faults and disturbances , Radio equipment , Terrestrial , Articles , Reviews , Statistics

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