Australia is in the final stage of realising the benefits of the ‘digital dividend’—valuable spectrum located in the 694-820 megahertz (MHz) frequency range—that will be used to deliver high speed 4G services from 1 January 2015.
So this can happen, current users of this frequency range need to relocate to other spectrum by 31 December 2014. This relocation affects community groups and small businesses that use wireless microphones and other audio devices in their day to day work, including schools, theatres, gyms and places of worship. Users who have bought wireless microphones from responsible suppliers in the past 12-18 months are most likely already compliant with this change.
Since 2010, the ACMA has been working with stakeholders to help them prepare for this change. This year, the ACMA is continuing its work to educate community groups and small businesses about the change so they have sufficient time to get ready.
‘We have experienced an increase in traffic to our online wireless microphones hub—a ‘one stop shop’ for information on the change,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
‘The hub includes fact sheets and a photo gallery of the most common devices that will be affected by the change, and what users can do to prepare.
‘If you haven’t already done so, we’re strongly advising community and industry groups to take action now by checking their equipment to make sure it can continue to be used after 31 December 2014,’ Mr Chapman added.
‘Contact your supplier to see if you can retune the equipment (i.e.: it uses a frequency range outside the proscribed 694-820 MHz range). Anyone considering buying a new wireless microphone should make sure it doesn’t operate in this 694-820 MHz range.’
Since 1 January 2014, it is illegal for suppliers to import or manufacture wireless microphones that operate in this frequency range. Buyers are also advised to look for a warning label on devices that will show if it will be illegal to use them in this range after 31 December 2014.
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Media release 1/2014 - 6 January
The 694-820 MHz spectrum is becoming available for 4G mobile broadband services as a result of Australia completing the switch from analog television services to digital television services. Analog television switch over started in 2010 and was completed in December 2013.