We’re starting to get this request from our customers. So, let’s clear this up right now. No, Solid Signal does not sell 5G filters as I write this in mid-2020. We have been testing several brands that say they filter frequencies over 600MHz, but haven’t been satisfied with the results.
What an LTE or 5G filter does
An LTE or 5G filter will stop all frequencies over 600MHz. Those frequencies are used for cellular broadcasts which can overwhelm regular over-the-air antenna signals. We do sell some antennas which offer integrated filtering over 700MHz, which will help in some cases. Not every area is using the 600MHz range for cellular yet.
Why you would need a filter
Over-the-air antennas made since the beginning of the television era have been designed to pick up signals up to 800MHz. When the television channel range went from 2-83, this was necessary. But, those truly high channels were not used much. The FCC has taken broadcast channels away several times. First they got rid of channels 70-83, then channels 51-69, and most recently the channels from 36-50 were taken from television broadcasters. In most cases this part of the broadcast spectrum was given to cellular companies. Cell phone signals work best in ranges under 1,000 MHz, although some companies do broadcast higher than that. Some 5G signals are up in the 29,000MHz range.
What this means is that your average TV antenna is also pretty darn good at picking up cell signals. The difference in power between cell signals and television signals is big enough that it could cause problems in some areas. This is most true in areas where the broadcast towers are very far away. You’ll be employing a large, sensitive antenna to pull in very weak signals, and it’s going to pull in stronger, closer signals. That’s just how antennas work.
How can LTE and 5G signals interfere with TV reception?
TV tuners and amplifiers often have some sort of automatic gain control. This technology makes the television work better. The problem comes when some signals are so much stronger than other signals. Some TV tuners aren’t able to completely compensate, and weaker signals can get lost. The only option in that case is to completely filter out the stronger signals, and that’s what an LTE or 5G filter does.
The filters available today filter signals above 700MHz. This will cover most of the 5G broadcasts out there today. However, as companies begin to use the 600MHz spectrum they acquired in 2017, we’ll need a new generation of filters as well.
When that happens, Solid Signal will be ready. You can count on us for professional-quality parts at reasonable prices. And of course, when these filters are available, you’ll find them by shopping the great selection at Solid Signal.