Listen up, these mics are not to be bought

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is discouraging the purchase and import of wireless microphones operating in the 694MHz to 798MHz band.

The alert has been given early as it will be cancelling the Class Assignment issued under Section 169 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for such microphones on July 1, 2018.

The 700MHz to 800MHz frequency band will be reallocated for mobile broadband and LTE (4G), MCMC posted on Facebook.

Using LTE and wireless microphones in the same band will cause disruption to both devices, so it will be prohibited.

Low-band spectrum is much sought after as it travels further from base stations and penetrates walls better, giving better indoor and underground coverage.

A similar move was made by Australia in 2015 when it banned wireless microphones operating in the 520MHz to 820MHz band so it could reallocate the band from 694MHz to 829MHz for LTE.

Last month, MCMC opened up the tender for the 700MHz band. In a document titled “Marketing Plan No.1 of 2017”, the regulator said that the cost of a 2x5MHz block in the 700MHz band was RM215.54mil, if based on a lump sum payment, whereas an instalment payment of up to 15 years would almost double it to RM417.12mil.

However, wireless microphones can still be operated in the country but they must use the other bands already allocated to them, including 2400MHz to 2500MHz and 470MHz to 694MHz.

The full list can be downloaded from the MCMC website.

Justin Yip, event director of Wizu Solutions, said the announcement came as a shock to him, as the company had just bought new microphones, each costing up to RM10,000.

He was still unsure if the models he bought would be affected but said that if they were, he might not have enough time to research and invest in new ones.

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