Ofcom allocates 700MHz band
Posted on: Monday 22nd of January 2018
UK communications regulator Ofcom has confirmed that programme making and special events (PMSE – wireless microphone and in-ear monitoring) users may continue to access the 694 to 703 MHz spectrum band after May 1, 2020, when work to clear spectrum in the 700MHz band for mobile broadband use is expected to be completed. This spectrum, known as the 700 MHz ‘guard band’, will separate Digital Terrestrial TV users from future mobile broadband users, and enable PMSE users to continue using the band. The confirmation that 694 to 703MHz can be used will secure valuable capacity for wireless mic operations and may allow existing systems to still be used. “Ofcom is committed to supporting the PMSE community and believes there are benefits in allowing PMSE users to have continued access to the guard band,” the regulator said in a statement.
Ofcom has proposed allowing spectrum in the ‘Air Band’, covering 960-1164MHz, to be used for broadcast and live event production. This is currently reserved for exclusive use by DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) transponders on commercial aircraft in UK airspace – Ofcom is ‘confident’ there should be no problem with interference! Moving to the Air Band will require development of new wireless microphone systems. Users are still waiting for details of what compensation they may receive for having to replace current equipment when they move from 700MHz.