We receive many enquiries regarding the UK government frequency sell off and what happens to the equipment we all use and rely on so much that we no longer have use of as from 1st January 2013 onwards… It’s not all bad news though!
What to Look For
First of all if you own Radio/Wireless Microphone Systems then usually on the back of the Receiver and under the battery cover of the Transmitter there should be a label showing the frequency range the system tunes across.
The licence free frequencies which remain in use after the 2013 frequency changes (based on information available as of Sept 2018) are in the VHF band 173.800 - 175.000MHz and in the UHF band 863.000 - 865.000MHz (channel 70) along with the 2.4GHz band. The above frequencies can be used without restriction and without any license fee payable in the UK.
License Free Use
You can use up to four license free systems together in both the VHF and UHF bands or combine the two for a maximum of eight or possibly up to ten (with some of the latest UHF systems) working together which should be interference free with the better quality systems.
Please note some of the budget systems are only designed for a maximum of two working together so it is worth checking the make/model to confirm this. They may offer several selectable frequencies however this often does NOT mean you can use all these frequencies together!
In the 2.4GHz band there are some manufacturers offering an additional four - eight systems operating together again completely license free. Be aware though that this frequency band is also used by the likes of Bluetooth devices and WiFi etc and therefore there is a very high risk of interference to your radio/wireless microphone systems.
Frequencies & Licensing
The new UK allocated licensed frequencies in the UHF band are 606.500 - 613.500MHz (channel 38) and these will replace 854.100 - 861.900MHz (channel 69). These frequencies require an annual license and will allow you to use up to twelve systems together without interference throughout the UK. More recently 823.000 - 832.000MHz (channel 65/66) has also been released for use to owners of a channel 38 license. Part of the 1.8GHz frequency band is also available and now part of the same PMSE annual license.
There is no absolute guarantee you will not encounter interference with any Radio/Wireless equipment from time to time. This applies to both licensed and license free equipment.
Please note other frequency bands are also available on a short term license. You would need to state the dates, venues and frequencies you would be using. You will then be told if the frequencies are available for that venue on the dates required and how much the license will cost.
For both annual and short term licensing information please contact - https://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/radiocommunication-licences/pmse
Why The Change?
Each ‘channel’ as we call it covers a ‘television channel’ which is 8MHz wide here in the UK and the Radio/Wireless systems we all use are generally shared with the television frequencies.
Here in the UK your TV has now gone digital (DSO - Digital Switch Over) and this is the reason why we who use this type of equipment have been moved to new frequencies as the UK government has now auctioned off the upper part of the television band to make way for new technologies to be used on cell/mobile phones beyond 2013.
If anyone has any questions then please feel free to get in touch with us - www.soundhire.co.uk - or call 01748 883 083 or 07970 700711.
We have over thirty years experience in the supply and use of Radio/Wireless Microphone Systems and we offer a part exchange service to those of you who may wish to trade in your channel 67 - 69 equipment for new channel 38 or channel 65/66 equipment (other frequencies are also available) which is available to purchase right away.
We have some exclusive offers on true professional quality channel 38 and channel 65/66 systems for a limited period of time. Please contact us for more information.