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Wireless Update 2010: June 12 DTV Transition Anniversary Is 700 MHz Deadline
“There will be two classes of wireless system operators going forward.”
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Licensed operation under Part 74 is restricted to broadcast and movies. The FCC is trying to figure out whether to broaden licensing under Part 74 to include theaters, performing arts centers, sports arenas and churches, and perhaps to also cover trade shows, cultural events, and governmental or educational institutions.

There will be two classes of wireless system operators going forward. Part 74 licensed users will have their geo-location information entered into a data base, so that unlicensed TV Band Devices (TVBDs) can try to figure out if they’re about to interfere with them, and thereby know when to shut themselves off.

Unlicensed users under Part 15 must accept interference from others (what we currently do every time we operate a wireless system).

However, in this new world of TVBDs, their operation is liable to occur in the very buildings where people are likely to walk in with portable TVBDs. Since the geo-location database and licensed use go hand-in-hand, expansion of Part 74 is in our best interest.

Those who must replace wireless equipment in the next few months must consider systems that operate in the several 6 MHz TV channels on either side of channel 37 (608-614 MHz), which are safe-havens from TVBDs, making Shure’s UHF-R wireless mic system in its J5 band and new PSM900 wireless monitoring system in its K1 band good choices for the future.

Frequencies below TV channel 21 are off limits to mobile TVBDs, except in the 13 largest cities where they’re used for mobile radio services, which makes Audio-Technica’s new I band (TV 16-20) another good selection.

Eight VHF frequencies from 169-171 MHz (just below TV channel 7) can be licensed for churches, schools, hospitals and businesses under Part 90, up to 50 mW.

While VHF wireless fell out of favor long ago, it might be one of the best options going forward.

Wireless system users are frogs in the proverbial pot of warm water.


The FCC’s 30-day comment period ends on Valentine’s Day. It is vitally important that you:

1. Visit the FCC’s “Electronic Comment Filing System” home page at

2. Click on the “Submit a Filing” link under the “ECFS Main Links” section

3. Fill out the form (Proceeding Number is 10-24) entering all the required (*) fields

My comments to the FCC are as follows:

“Dear Sir or Madam,

With regard to 10-24, I’m concerned as a professional user of wireless microphones. I own a dozen systems and often rent others for use in live concert sound.

I’m writing to encourage the FCC’s expansion of licensing under Part 74 to include theaters, performing arts centers, sports facilities, churches,

educational and government institutions, which all benefit enormously from reliable wireless microphones used for public assembly.

Unlicensed use under Part 15 - cohabiting spectrum with unlicensed consumer services (TVBDs) - would be catastrophic to many live events that regularly take place.

I urge you to expand the categories of licensed use under Part 74.

Thank you,
Mark Frink.”

Please use your particular circumstances to discuss this situation in YOUR comments to the FCC before Valentine’s Day.

Mark Frink is Editorial Director of Live Sound International and Product Specialist of ProSoundWeb.

Source: Live Sound International

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Comments (5) Most recent displayed first | All comments in chronological order
Posted by brad000143  on  10/19/11  at  11:43 PM
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Posted by Mark Frink  on  02/23/10  at  11:18 AM
The 13 cities, er "major economic markets": hmm, let's see if i can do it from memory. They're all big and Henry will help us if I get one wrong. OK: Boston, New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Miami, Pittsburgh, Philly and DC. Phew. In those cities, er MEAs, the first unoccupied TV channel on either side of TV 37 will exclude TVBDs (in theory).
Posted by Dave Horn  on  02/23/10  at  11:02 AM
Any word from Mr. Cohen or others on the identities of those "13 major economic areas" or cities?
Posted by Mark Frink  on  02/08/10  at  03:27 PM
Yes, Henry, once again, you're right. Instead of 13 major cities, it should read major economic areas. Can you name them? My point was that in those 13 cities, TV channels 14-20, devoid of any TVBDs in the future, might be a good place for future non-touring equipment. You seem good at trivia. How many of those six TV channels in those cities are unused by broadcast and mobile radio? Thank you, Henry.
Posted by Henry Cohen  on  01/30/10  at  05:26 PM
"Frequencies below TV channel 21 are off limits to mobile TVBDs, except in the 13 largest cities where they’re used for mobile radio services, which makes Audio-Technica’s new I band (TV 16-20) another good selection." This statement is not quite accurate. Personal/portable TVBDs may not operate below channel 21 under any circumstances. Fixed TVBDs may operate in UHF-TV channels 14-21 *except* in those 13 major economic areas (the FCC doesn't confine the geography to city limits) where Part 90 LMR services operate by waiver.
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