Do You Need to Replace Your 600 MHz Wireless Microphones?

Wireless mics are everywhere, from auditoriums and theatres to conference centers and stadiums. Many of these microphones operate on the 600 MHz band, but in the U.S., most of this spectrum has been sold to cellular carriers. Alissa Boleky, director of marketing and business development for Anixter, explains what you need to know about the transition.

Learn more about this topic by reading our TECHbrief on the 600 MHz transition.

Transcript: Do you need to replace your 600 MHz wireless mics?

Hi, I’m Alissa Boleky.

Wireless microphones, like this one here, are used everywhere from corporate buildings and school auditoriums to churches, stadiums and performing arts venues. Many of these microphones operate on 600 MHz frequencies, a spectrum that, until recently, was licensed to broadcast TV stations in the United States.

In April 2017, the FCC sold most of this spectrum to cellular carriers for new 600 MHz wireless operations. Carriers have already begun using these frequencies to test and build their 5G wireless networks.

If you’re located in the U.S. and you currently use 600 MHz wireless mics, here’s what you need to know:

First, you have until July 13, 2020, to transition your mics out of the 600 MHz band. This is the cut-off date set by the FCC.

Second, you should not wait until 2020 to make the transition. Since carriers are already utilizing the 600 MHz frequencies for 5G testing, you may already be experiencing interference on your wireless mics. If the frequency owner complains about interference from your mics, the FCC could tell you to stop using the 600 MHz band immediately.

Third, when replacing your microphone transmitters and receivers, think ahead. Choose a band that will likely be open for a while—for example, 900 MHz for large facilities, or 2.4 GHz for smaller venues. Also, look at upgrading to a digital wireless system. A digital signal can be encrypted for security purposes and is also less likely to experience interference.

Fourth, work with a qualified A/V integrator to determine the right solution for your organization’s needs. An experienced A/V integrator will make sure that your new wireless microphone system works with your sound system and is professionally installed for best results.

Finally, if you’re dealing with a large-scale or multi-site deployment of new wireless microphone systems, you and your A/V integrator should consider partnering with a distributor such as Anixter to kit and deliver the product to your installation sites for faster, easier deployment.

To learn more about this and other professional A/V solutions, contact your local Anixter representative, or visit us online at anixter.com/proav.

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