As the festive season draws near, New Year’s (and the critical date of 1 January 2015) shortly follows. As a consequence, the Australian Communications and Media Authority is strongly urging all clubs, schools, businesses, places of worship and other community organisations, if they use wireless microphones, to check their devices to see if they can continue to use them after New Year.
Changes to regulations mean wireless mics that currently use radio waves in the 694–820 megahertz (MHz) range will no longer be able to be operated from 1 January 2015.
From 1 January the 694–820 MHz range will be used to deliver advanced 4G mobile broadband services and wireless mics users need to be ready. Wireless mics that currently use radio waves in the 694–820 MHz range must be retuned (if retuning is possible) or upgraded to allow operation in a different band (if the device cannot be returned).
This infographic is a quick guide on whether you need to retune your gear or upgrade it. Popular television presenter Shelley Craft is also helping the ACMA get the message out in the community with this video.
‘Since 2012, the ACMA has been raising awareness of the change among a wide range of community and business groups, but as we count down through December time is running out to make the transition,’ said ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman.
‘Our fact sheets and online resources, such as a frequency finder for your area, have been popular as they help groups understand how they can prepare for the change,’ he added.
The main ranges that can be used for wireless mics after 1 January 2015 are 520–694 MHz and 1790–1800 MHz. As 520–694 MHz is shared with television broadcasting, people purchasing wireless mics should either talk with their supplier or use the frequency finder to make sure they choose the most suitable frequency range for the area where they plan to operate.
The ACMA expects compliance will be largely self-managing as any remaining wireless microphones will stop working as the rollout of new 4G services increases. There might be delays in some areas or frequency bands before services begin, but wireless mic users should not assume that just because a wireless microphone system keeps working after 1 January it won’t need to be changed.
While in most cases wireless microphone are likely to stop working before causing interference, if interference is detected from a wireless microphone, the ACMA will take action in accordance with its graduated approach to compliance. This will usually mean an education awareness approach in the first instance, for example, advising the user they must not cause interference to radiocommunications services and must retune to another channel or cease using the device.
For all you need to know about wireless microphones, head to www.wirelessmicrophones.gov.au. For assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719 or email@example.com.
Media release 74/2014 - 2 December