Reminder: Be Careful When Buying A Wireless Microphone

From 1 January 2015, the 694—820 megahertz (MHz) frequency range will be used exclusively by telecommunications companies to provide 4G mobile broadband services. This means it will be illegal to use wireless microphones and other audio devices that operate in the same frequency range. Thankfully, ACMA is on the case...

Photo: ACMA

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has introduced new regulations to restrict the sale of any wireless audio transmitter operating in the 694—820MHz frequency range. Suppliers are now required to inform customers if the equipment they sell isn't suitable for use after 2014.

"Many community groups and small businesses use wireless microphones in their day-to-day work, ranging from school assemblies to local theatres to gyms and places of worship," ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said.

"The intention continues to be to give Australians as much time as possible to prepare for the changes and we strongly encourage people to check their equipment now. Anyone considering buying a new wireless microphone or audio device should check for the warning label and ensure they are buying a compliant one."

However, rules are not always followed rigorously, especially when it comes to independent specialist stores. In other words, there's a good chance that non-compliant equipment may continue to be sold without the provision of a clear warning. It therefore pays to do your homework online.

From 1 January 2014, suppliers will no longer be able to import, manufacture or sell wireless audio transmitters in Australia that operate in 694–820 MHz. Until then, make sure you pay close attention to the product's specification prior to buying.

You can find out more about the new frequency regulation at ACMA’s wireless microphones hub.


Comments

    You forgot the dash a few times between the two frequencies, it makes it look like we are going to be getting 694GHz 4g devices.

    This would fall within the infrared band

    uhhhhhhhhhhhh... So if you own gear that already does this - it's tough luck, buy new stuff? Some gear is worth thousands of dollars...

    Given that they are near field (only realistically a single building or small, deliberately covered area) this seems very inconvenient. Are they just going to keep doing this is my main concern? Buy new gear and in 3 years just 'move' the spectrum again because suddenly they decide people need 1000034520mbit on their phones, so tough luck every other industry, you can just foot the cost?

    I'd like to know how they're going to enforce this.

    It seems like they haven't really come up with any plan to actually migrate the existing services using this frequency range onto something else. Yes, it's against the law to use one of these devices, but these are pretty low powered devices, it's going to have impact in very localised areas, and is going to be quite difficult to track down. At the same time it will be pretty detrimental to the other users of that frequency in that area (although the actual impact on people's live would be minimal).

    They've made a boatload of cash selling this spectrum, yet aren't doing anything to actually make sure the spectrum is actually free to sell...

    Yes. Better not let performers use old wireless microphones on stage. It might interfere with some kid's 4G signal while he's playing Angry Birds in the audience because his parents can't be bothered getting a babysitter.

    Good advice: suppliers have been a bit slow in getting gear with the correct bandwidth. We wanted to buy some wireless mics at my work and were advised to hold out until the updated models came into stock.

    If you push your luck and keep using the old bandwidth you might find that your big event gets ruined by mic interference. Its a big pain but has been in the works for quite some time.

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