Are you a manufacturer, importer or retailer of wireless audio transmitters that can operate in the 694–820 MHz frequency range? Read on for information on the changes to the ACMA’s standards and labelling arrangements that could affect you.
What are wireless audio transmitters?
Wireless audio transmitters are a class of transmitter that operate under the Low Interference Potential Devices (LIPD) Class Licence. Examples include wireless microphones, public announcement systems and in-ear monitoring systems.
The LIPD Class Licence outlines rules for the frequencies that wireless audio transmitters can use and other conditions of use.
From 1 January 2015, the LIPD Class Licence will no longer permit the use of wireless audio transmitters in 694–820 MHz. More information about the changes to the LIPD Class Licence is available here.
The ACMA has aligned the supply arrangements for wireless audio transmitters with the changes to the LIPD Class Licence.
What are the current arrangements for the supply of wireless audio transmitters?
Radiocommunications (Short Range Devices) Standard 2004
- The ACMA’s mandatory equipment performance requirements for wireless audio transmitters are set out in the Radiocommunications (Short Range Devices) Standard 2004 (SRD Standard).
- The SRD Standard adopts the requirements of industry standard AS/NZS 4268 for wireless audio transmitters. Standards Australia is amending AS/NZS 4268 to exclude 694–820 MHz for wireless audio transmitter use and is expected to publish the amended standard by 1 October 2013.
- The SRD Standard currently allows for a 12-month transition period if AS/NZS 4268 is amended or replaced. This means that short-range devices (including wireless audio transmitters) that are manufactured or imported within 12 months of an amendment to AS/NZS 4268 can comply with the requirements of the old AS/NZS 4268 or the new AS/NZS 4268.
Radiocommunications Devices (Compliance Labelling) Notice 2003
- Manufacturers and importers of radiocommunications devices and their authorised agents are required to comply with the ACMA’s Radiocommunications Devices (Compliance Labelling) Notice 2003. They must affix a C-Tick or RCM compliance label to their devices and hold the appropriate documentation to demonstrate compliance with the ACMA’s mandatory standards.
What changes have been made to the ACMA’s rules for the supply of wireless audio transmitters?
The ACMA has amended the SRD Standard and Labelling Notice. Standards Australia is also making changes to AS/NZS 4268. The changes are:
- Wireless audio transmitters that can operate in 694–820 MHz that are imported or manufactured after 1 January 2014 will be considered non-standard devices and not able to lawfully be supplied in Australia.
- In addition to applying the C-Tick or RCM mark, importers and manufacturers of wireless audio transmitters that can operate in 694–820 MHz (and their authorised agents) must include with the transmitters a brief written statement about the limitations of their use after 31 December 2014.
How will the changes affect me?
If you’re an importer or manufacturer of wireless audio transmitters that can operate in 694–820 MHz:
- Wireless audio transmitters that you import or manufacture before 1 January 2014 can continue to be supplied. However, those transmitters cannot be used in 694–820 MHz after 31 December 2014.
- Wireless audio transmitters that you manufacture or import after 1 January 2014 should not be capable of being operated in 694–820 MHz. From this date, it will be unlawful to supply these transmitters as they will be considered non-standard devices.
- In addition to the existing labelling requirements, any wireless audio transmitter that can operate in 694–820 MHz that is imported after the changes to the Labelling Notice take effect must include a brief written statement about limitations of its use after 31 December 2014.
If you’re a retailer of wireless audio transmitters that can operate in 694–820 MHz:
- These transmitters can continue to be imported or manufactured until 1 January 2014. They can continue to be sold but they cannot be operated in 694–820 MHz after 31 December 2014.
- Wireless audio transmitters that are manufactured or imported after 1 January 2014 should not be capable of being operated in 694–820 MHz—or they will be considered non-standard devices. It is unlawful to supply non-standard devices. Supply includes sale, exchange, lease, hire or hire-purchase.
If I supply a wireless audio transmitter that allows the user to select whether to use it in 694–820 MHz or another frequency range, will I still need to comply with the changes to the SRD Standard and Labelling Notice?
Yes. It is the supplier’s responsibility to ensure that wireless audio transmitters comply with the SRD Standard. Under section 7.2 of industry standard AS/NZS 4268, any adjustment or programming mechanism that could be altered so that the device does not meet the requirements of the industry standard must not be accessible to the user.
Suppliers must ensure that all wireless audio transmitters that can operate in 694–820 MHz (regardless of whether the user can select to use it in a different frequency range) comply with the changes.
See section 7.2 of the industry standard for more information.
The additional labelling requirement applies to wireless microphones that operate in 694–820 MHz but also have the capability to operate in frequencies outside this range.
Do I need to ensure all the products I've already sold in Australia are modified so they don't operate in the 694-820 MHz range?
No. Wireless audio transmitters that operate in the 694-820 MHz range that are imported or manufactured before 1 January 2015 are not required to be modified. However, these devices cannot be operated after 31 December 2014.
Where can I find out more information on the changes?
The ACMA has published a fact sheet for suppliers that summarises all the changes.
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