Wireless Microphone Frequencies

Do you need a licence to use your wireless microphones?

Wireless Mics and In-Ear Monitors in the UK are generally available at VHF (170 – 210 MHz) and UHF (470 – 865 MHz).

Licence Exempt

The ranges 173 – 175 MHz and 863 – 865 MHz can be used without a licence subject to the requirements of The Wireless Telegraphy (Exemption) (Amendment) Regulations.

These ranges are also used by other low power equipment so can be subject to interference.

Licence Required
If your microphones are on any frequencies other than 173 – 175 MHz and 863 – 865 MHz you will need a licence to operate them legally.

UK Shared Licence

VHF and UHF Shared frequencies can be used anywhere in the UK once licensed. The licence can also cover anyone hiring from the licencee.

Co-ordinated Licence

Co-ordinated frequencies are licensed at a specific site for short or long term. They provide the best protection against interference.

IMPORTANT NEWS REGARDING THE 700 MHz FREQUENCY BAND

Ofcom announced in 2014 that the 700 MHz Frequency Band would be cleared, to be used instead for mobile phones.

The UK Government has now announced that they will clear the 700 MHz band by 01 May 2020, meaning some wireless microphone systems will become illegal to use.

The government will offer compensation to owners of products in the 700 MHz band purchased before 23 August 2018. This means you can offset the cost of your new equipment by claiming at least 60% back against newer equipment, plus an additional 10% in administration charges against the total claim value. By doing this you get the latest technology which is compliant, but with a significant saving.

The Ofcom Compensation Portal is now live and you must submit your claim by the 26 April 2019.

To make your claim visit pmsefunding.co.uk

 

VHF

VHF (Very High Frequency) wireless microphones operate within the range 173 - 175MHz, and these are freely available for the public to use without a licence. They are usually at the cheaper end of the scale, and can be more prone to interference. You can only use two wireless VHF microphones in the same place at the same time because the available bandwidth is so narrow. e.g. you can use two of these systems (on different frequencies) at the same time QTX VH1 wireless system. Alternatively you could use one dual UHF system.

 


UHF

UHF (Ultra High Frequency) microphones operate on wider bandwidths than VHF, some of which can only be used legally under licence from Ofcom.

Pre-set frequencies or changeable?

Some wireless systems are pre-set to fixed frequencies that you cannot change. VHF tend to be pre-set. Some UHF are pre-set and some are changeable, allowing you to select your frequencies within a range. This is useful because you'll find that some frequencies work better than others in your area. If a frequency doesn't work well or has a lot of interference it can dropout, sound crackly, or even sound like it's underwater! Change a few MHz and it will be as clear as anything.


True Diversity

True Diversity means is that the transmitter sends two signals to the receiver on different frequencies which are then summed at the receiver end. This reduces the amount of drop-out or signal loss. If you have a wireless system that is not true diversity it could be prone to drop out.


Do you need a licence to use your wireless microphones?

Wireless Mics and In-Ear Monitors in the UK are generally available at VHF (170 – 210 MHz) and UHF (470 – 865 MHz).

Licence Exempt

The ranges 173 – 175 MHz and 863 – 865 MHz can be used without a licence subject to the requirements of The Wireless Telegraphy (Exemption) (Amendment) Regulations

These ranges are also used by other low power equipment so can be subject to interference.

UK Shared

VHF and UHF Shared frequencies can be used anywhere in the UK once licensed. The licence can also cover anyone hiring from the licencee.

Co-ordinated

Co-ordinated frequencies are licensed at a specific site for short or long term. They provide the best protection against interference.

Ofcom control the licensing of wireless microphones and monitors. Their website is very confusing and it's sometimes easier just to call them! However, please click here for the correct section on the Ofcom website.
Please note that it is cheaper to buy online than to call them.

Alternatively you can contact the PMSE department as follows:

PMSE Licensing
2nd Floor Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London
SE1 9HA
Tel: 020 7981 3803
Fax: 020 7981 3235
E-mail: pmse@ofcom.org.uk



As at Sept 2018, it's £28 per year for a fixed site indoor licence and £75 per year for a shared licence covering up to 10 microphones.


Would you like some help?

If you'd like us to help you choose your microphones, just click here to fill in our simple enquiry form.

If you have any other questions about the wireless products sold by us please email enquiries@whatpa.co.uk  and we will do our best to advise you.