If you own a wireless microphone, you need to read this.
Last week, the FCC released the date and details of both the start of spectrum incentive auctions and changes to the RF spectrum that will remain available for wireless microphones.
With the ever-greater use of mobile broadband and the internet-of-things, the demand for RF bandwidth is immense, so television broadcasters are being asked to relocate and vacate, and secondary users like wireless microphones, wireless intercoms, and in-ear monitoring systems will be forced out, too.
The start of the auctions will be May 31, 2016. While details are not yet fully known, it appears that wireless microphone users will have 126MHz less RF spectrum available and that use of frequencies above 566MHz will become obsolete (and illegal) at some point.
When users will be required to vacate the use of frequencies above 566MHz is not yet known, but in previous announcements, the time period of 42 months has been mentioned. From this point forward, you will begin to see a transition to new technology, the reuse of the VHF spectrum and placement of microphones in the 900MHz and 2.4GHz portions of the RF spectrum.
The primary takeaway from this announcement is that you should avoid purchasing wireless systems with operating ranges between 566-700MHz, if you plan to use them for more than a few years.
If you have questions about how this impacts your set-up, or if we can help with planning during this time of transition, please be in touch. And of course, we will keep you informed as we learn more.