11 July 2014

Do you own or use wireless microphones?

Images of people using wireless microphones.

From 1 January 2015, it will be illegal to use wireless audio transmitters in the frequency range 694-820 MHz.

Important changes are happening to wireless audio transmitters—including wireless microphones—which will take effect from 1 January 2015.

If you are someone who uses wireless audio transmitters—such as wireless microphones, public announcement systems, in-ear monitoring systems and musical pick-ups, this change affects you

Many wireless audio transmitters currently operate in the spectrum located at frequency range 694-820 MHz. But from 1 January 2015, it will be illegal to use these devices in this range.

Spectrum is a valuable public asset that is used for a range of purposes; for example, mobile phones, television channels and wireless audio transmitters. Spectrum is divided into frequency ranges called megahertz (MHz). Unlike other users of spectrum, users of wireless audio transmitters don’t pay any fees or ongoing charges to use the spectrum.

In 2010, the government declared the 694–820 MHz frequency range as the ‘digital dividend’, to be used for new communication services from 1 January 2015. This means that devices currently operating in this frequency—such as wireless microphones—must use a different range from 1 January 2015.

What do you need to do?

Before 1 January 2015, you need to check if you can retune your wireless audio transmitters to use a different frequency range. The range available in your area will depend on television broadcasting arrangements, which are changing and can vary in different locations.

Check your user manual or contact your supplier to find out if your wireless audio transmitter can be retuned so that it operates in a different frequency range. If it can’t be retuned, you’ll need to buy new equipment—but make sure that any new device you purchase does not operate in 694–820 MHz.

What frequency ranges can I use instead?

The main frequency ranges that can be used to operate wireless audio transmitters from 1 January 2015 are 520–694 MHz and 1790–1800 MHz.

For more information, visit the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

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