The Australian Communications and Media Authority has begun the groundwork for clearing wireless microphones out of the 700 MHz band, and hopes to get its new technical standard adopted by October this year.
The ACMA has issued a discussion paper (linked here) covering its plans to bump wireless mics from frequencies between 694 MHz and 800 MHz.
After 31 December 2014, wireless audio transmitters will be prohibited from operating in that band. ACMA is proposing that the normal 12 month grandfathering period be reduced to three months. That decision is based on the regulator's assessment of how long it will take to complete the paperwork getting a new technical standard in place.
As it explains in the discussion paper, if it were to get the technical standard published by October 2013, a 12-month grandfathering period would allow devices to be sold through to October 2014, meaning it would be possible that someone could be sold a device that would only be legal for three months. Instead, the ACMA proposes ending the sale of 694-800 MHz wireless mics three months after it gets the technical standard in place.
It is also proposing a labelling standard on wireless mics operating in the 694-800 MHz band, so that anybody buying new devices knows they'll only remain legal until the end of 2014.
At the moment, wireless audio devices have from 520 to 820 MHz, and the lower frequencies will still be available after the new regulations come into effect.
It can't come as s surprise to manufacturers or users: the ACMA first began discussing moving microphones out of the 700 MHz band back in 2011. Comments are open on the discussion paper until 9 July 2013. ®