Monthly Archives: October 2013

The digital future of UHF in NZ? What impact will it have on wireless microphones?

The radio spectrum (the range of electromagnetic frequencies used in radio-transmission) between 518-806 MHz is under review by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

What does this mean? Under this review UHF (Ultra High Frequency) the NZ government decided to allocate some of the radio spectrum to new users. Some frequencies will be put up for auction. It is suspected that these frequencies will be purchased by mobile network operators and used to provide 4G mobile broadband services. NZ has already seen some of these changes with the roll out of digital TV and the discontinuation of the analogue TV network. Until 1st December 2013, Sky TV has the option to convert some of its existing analogue licenses to digital. Any unused frequencies will return to the crown.  Once digital TV switch over happens on 30th November 2013, digital radio microphones can use the 582-606 MHz frequency band, assuming Sky TV doesn’t convert their licenses.

With this reallocation of frequencies within the 502-805 MHz radio spectrum, digital radio microphones will no longer be able to use the frequencies designated for other use.

Sales and supply of radio microphones operating in the 698-806 MHz frequency band will be restricted as this equipment can not be used after 11 March 2015. Until this date radio microphones can be used on a non interference basis. Use of the 606-622 MHz range has been reserved until the outcome proposed in the Maori Television Services Amendment Bill 2012.

Although there are frequencies available within the 502-606MHz and 622-698MHz range, radio microphone use is on a secondary basis where it must not interfere with other licensed services, such as TV broadcasting.

Older radio microphones have dedicated frequencies, while the newer digital radio microphones can monitor the frequencies around it and use what is currently free.

It will be interesting to see what happens when the government auctions the 700MHz + range later this year.

UHF Bands

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