FCC adopts order banning wireless microphones in 700 MHz band

In preparation of 4G services operators who will deploy in the 700 MHz band, the FCC adopted an order on Friday that bans the use of wireless microphones and other devices that operate in the band. 

The agency is giving users of wireless microphones--which are widely used in stadiums, concert venues and houses of worship--until June 12 to move to a new frequency. A number of wireless microphones have operated illegally on vacant channels in the 700 MHz band without licenses, but the FCC never enforced the ban. Interestingly, Shure, a major manufacturer of wireless microphones, exposed the problem by complaining about potential interference posed by white-space devices.

Shure, however, said it began focusing on new products that don't operate on the 700 MHz band in 2001, but many of Shure's legacy products still do operate in that spectrum. In 2008, public interest group Media Access Project filed a complaint with the FCC over wireless microphones operating illegally in the band. At that time, it estimated that anywhere between 500,000 and 1 million illegal wireless microphone systems operate in the 700 MHz band. 

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