Wireless microphones make event set-up and execution much easier for everyone from large concert promoters to small churches. They allow musicians and speakers to move freely and to express themselves easily in almost any environment.
All wireless communication (wireless microphone transmissions, plus radio stations, broadcast television, cell phone calls and data, and even baby monitors just to name a few) consist of signals that travel over the wireless spectrum. These tools need space on the finite wireless spectrum in order to function without a cable, and no two communications can use the same part of the spectrum in the same location without interference. Therefore, and more products and users embrace wireless technology, the spectrum – or the airspace that wireless signals travel within — is getting crowded.
What is Being Done to Address this Problem?
In order to increase wireless network capacity, the FCC plans to perform the 2016 UHF Spectrum Auction later this year. Television stations are being offered incentives from the FCC to sell off 126MHz of low band spectrum space that will then be available for wireless use. After this auction, all broadcast TV channels will be required to transmit over a more limited number of remaining TV bands.
While this will free up space for wireless service providers, it may challenge some existing wireless microphone users as it will essentially take away much of the TV band space that wireless microphones were formerly using. In addition, having so many high-powered TV stations side-by-side in the remaining bands will make it difficult to use wireless devices in Part 15 (the bands that TV stations use) in densely populated areas. Unfortunately, we won’t know exactly what bands will be used and what will be available until the spectrum space is sold and the TV stations are shuffled into their new places, but it’s certain that wireless microphone use will be need to shift in the future.
What does this mean for you?
Don’t panic – these changes won’t happen overnight. In fact, some may take several years! In the meantime, you should learn all that you can about your current equipment and the spectrum in which it operates so that you can understand how it might be impacted, and what replacements or adjustments you may need to make.
Take advantage of the resources offered by the wireless experts on staff at companies like Full Compass Systems, and manufacturers like Shure, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica and RF Venue. Many companies are making the innovative updates needed to ensure that their new wireless equipment will work well in a crowded spectrum. These experts offer blog posts, webinars, and podcasts full of technical information and advice that will help you continue to put on flexible, flawless events.
The wireless spectrum will only continue to get increasingly crowded, so its important to make sure that you have the education you need to get through this change, and others to come. The experts here at Full Compass are informed and ready to help you through the evolution, so feel free to call us anytime to address your particular situation and to make sure you are aware of the changes and the product options that will work for you.