Skip Navigation

Ofcom annoys broadcasters to please mobile firms
Friday 06 February 2009 10:26:46 by Andrew Ferguson

The Digital Britain report made the case for mobile broadband to fill in some of the 'broadband not-spots' in the country at the moment and it appears that Ofcom agrees as it is planning to allocate extra radio spectrum for mobile broadband use.

By harmonising the spectrum used in the UK with that of Europe it may reduce the cost to users of mobile broadband, as more services and hardware can be used across Europe. Unfortunately the part of the spectrum is already used by wireless microphones which are widely used by music festivals and broadcasters. The appeal of a wireless microphone also means that there will be many smaller operations such as DJ's, social clubs and small bands that are likely to be affected. Estimates are that some £100m of kit will be effectively useless, though Ofcom is proposing funding so no extra costs are incurred replacing kit, but how this will be administered is not known.

Another issue will be the need for those with digital terrestrial receivers to retune them. While most of the population will notice and understand publicity surrounding the need for this, there are going to many people with older relatives for whom the switch to digital TV is already confusing and visits from the family 'techie' will be needed.

If this spectrum re-allocation does go ahead, there may be some interesting moments as a rarely used wireless microphone is switched on, and potentially clashes with mobile broadband signals.


Posted by ceedee over 8 years ago
It's not just DJs, etc. that will need to replace radio mikes but hundreds of PA companies across the country.
It'll be interesting to see the hurdles they have to leap over to get any compensation from Ofcom...
Posted by ETEE over 8 years ago
Only licensed users of PMSE in UHF ch69 will be affected. Licence exempt use (amateur) of wireless mics in ch70 will continue as normal for the moment. Licensed users are typically TV and film studios, theatres, major events etc.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
... and all of those who bought a very cheap DVB will find out why they should have paid a bit more for the 'digital tick'..
Posted by Spectre_01 over 8 years ago
As long as I don't lose Nuts TV then i'm cool with the changes.
Posted by ChristopherWoods over 8 years ago
I've done some work with live sound companies, and I know just how steadfast they will stand if they are told they have to rip and replace entire chunks of their infrastructure.

It might end up being a modern day pirate radio war, with pro sound companies pitted against Ofcom! I put a tenner on the PA companies to win in a TKO.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.