FCC Considers Permitting New Wireless Microphone Technology on Licensed Spectrum

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The FCC has initiated a proceeding and seeks comments on allowing Wireless Multi-Channel Audio Systems (WMAS), a wireless microphone technology that would enable more microphones per megahertz of spectrum, to operate on a licensed basis in frequency bands where wireless microphones are currently authorized, including the TV bands, the 600 MHz duplex gap, and in portions of the 900 MHz, 1.4 GHz, and 7 GHz bands. The FCC is also considering permitting use of this technology on an unlicensed basis under Part 15. The technology utilizes an efficient operating protocol that allows microphones to operate using wider bandwidth by digitally combining multiple microphone signals which could benefit music venues or convention centers with multiple performers or speakers. WMAS is already permitted in Europe under the European Telecommunications Standards Institute standards. The proposals are not intended to impact incumbent spectrum operations that share spectrum bands with wireless microphones. Comments are due 30 days, and reply comments are due 60 days, after publication in the Federal Register

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