You may or may not already be aware of the upcoming changes to the UHF radio spectrum that will affect all wireless microphone and in-ear monitor users in the UK, so we at Sounds Live have filtered all the available information and put it in a document that will hopefully answer any questions you may have.
What is the fuss about?
During 2012 users of wireless microphone systems and in-ear monitoring system will have to stop operating on UHF channel 69 – channel 69 uses frequencies between 854 MHz and 862 MHz. Channel 69 has been unique in the UK as it is the only channel that has been reserved exclusively for the licensed operation of wireless radio systems. Channel 69 as well as other channels (31-37 & 61-68) will also be affected as a result of OfCom auctioning off the frequency channels and re-allocating to new services, at the moment this is thought to be mobile telephone and broadband networks.
Although no date has been set in 2012 for this channel closure, OfCom have confirmed that channel 69 will be available for the London 2012 Olympics, although this may be the final time in the UK.
Which Frequencies can I use?
On the 4th January 2010 JFMG (Joint Frequency Management Group), the spectrum management company owned by OfCom, officially announced channel 38 as the replacement channel to channel 69. Channel 38 operates between 606 MHz and 614MHz, although OfCom have recognised that channel 38 will not be available fully throughout the UK until 2012 so they have temporarily granted restricted access to channels 39 and/or 40 (only in the areas where channel 38 is not completely clear for use). Users are legally required to check the frequency availability for their location before transmitting. The following tool will determine the availability in your area.
Channel 38 (606 MHz – 614 MHz)
This channel should be available nationwide from January 1st 2012
Channels 21-30 and 41-60 (470 MHz – 550 MHz and 630 MHz – 790 MHz)
These channels are available now and post 2012 for wireless microphones and IEM systems on an interleaved basis, although licensing is required.
Channel 69 (854 MHz – 862 MHz)
This band will be closed to wireless microphone and IEM users post 2012
Channel 70 (863 MHz – 865 MHz)
This deregulated license-free spectrum will still be available for users post 2012 providing you are operating less than four channels.
The Most Important and Most Common Question… Do I need a License?
It is illegal to operate UHF wireless microphones or in-ear monitoring systems outside of the 863-865 MHz licence exempt sub-band without the appropriate licence/licences.
For more information on licensing, please contact;
33-34 Alfred Place
Tel: 0207 299 8660
Or visit www.jfmg.co.uk
Which Systems will work?
Most manufacturers, such as Shure, Sennheiser, AKG, and Trantec are now producing wireless microphone systems and in-ear monitoring systems that will work in the channel 38 frequency band. The systems that are currently available on various frequency bands include Handheld systems, Head-worn wireless systems, Lapel radio systems, Instrument systems, and In-Ear Monitoring systems.
If you need any more information regarding which system will do what on which frequency… then contact us at Sounds Live on 0191 491 3185 or via email (click here) and we will do all we can to help.