The unlicensed wireless microphone registration process covers all unlicensed low power auxiliary devices (LPADs). The registration process for unlicensed LPADs including wireless microphones provides interference protection from TV white space devices. Large venues that cannot accommodate all of their wireless microphones on channels that have been set aside for wireless microphone and other LPAD use can register for protection on additional channels.

Background

FCC rules provide that certain unlicensed radio transmitters (TV White Space Devices) can operate on broadcast television spectrum when that spectrum is not used by a licensed service (TV white spaces).  Since LPADs including wireless microphones also operate on broadcast television spectrum, they can receive interference from these unlicensed TV white space devices. The FCC has set aside channels that can be used by LPADs including wireless microphones and established a process for registration of these devices to prevent interference from TV white space devices. 

Wireless microphones and other low power devices used at sporting events, entertainment events and places of worship operate on an unlicensed basis under a waiver of the FCC rules (unlicensed LPADs). Some of these events are very large and operate more of these devices than can be accommodated by the channels set aside for LPAD use. To ensure that unlicensed LPADs including wireless microphones used at large venues do not receive interference from TV white space devices, the FCC has developed a process to register these devices. The registration process provides interference protection from TV white space devices only. It does not convey a license to operate on the TV channels or provide interference protection from other services, including other wireless microphones.

Qualifying for Registration

Certain TV channels are available for wireless microphone and other LPAD use without the potential for interference from TV white space devices. They consist of two reserved channels and other TV channels where TV white spaces devices are not allowed to operate. To register unlicensed LPADs including wireless microphones, registrants must demonstrate that they will be using more of these devices than can be accommodated on the reserved and other available wireless microphone channels.

Additional Information

Conversion Chart

Channel # Frequency Band (MHz)
7 174-180
8 180-186
9 186-192
10 192-198
11 198-204
12 204-210
13 210-216
14 470-476
15 476-482
16 482-488
17 488-494
18 494-500
19 500-506
20 506-512
21 512-518
22 518-524
23 524-530
24 530-536
25 536-542
26 542-548
27 548-554
28 554-560
29 560-566
30 566-572
31 572-578
32 578-584
33 584-590
34 590-596
35 596-602
36 602-608
37 608-614 (Not available to wireless mics)
38 614-620
39 620-626
40 626-632
41 632-638
42 638-644
43 644-650
44 650-656
45 656-662
46 662-668
47 668-674
48 674-680
49 680-686
50 686-692
51 692-698

Glossary Of Terms

  • Low Power Auxiliary Device (LPAD): Devices that support broadcast and other types of productions that typically transmit 100 meters. They include wireless microphones, wireless intercoms, wireless in-ear monitors (“IEM”), wireless audio instrument links, and wireless cueing equipment (aka “IFB”.)
     
  • Minimum Number of TV Channels: The minimum number of TV channels needed for the unlicensed LPADs including wireless microphones that can not be accommodated on the two reserve channels and other available TV channels. This is listed on the Channel Registration Screen.
     
  • Maximum Number of TV Channels: The maximum number of TV channels needed for the unlicensed LPADs including wireless microphones that can not be accommodated on the two reserved channels and other available TV channels. This is listed on the Channel Registration Screen.
     
  • Maximum Number of Wireless Microphones: The maximum number of unlicensed wireless microphone or other types of unlicensed low power auxiliary devices that can not be accommodated on the two reserved channels and other available TV channels. This number is listed on the Channel Registration Screen and will be used to justify the maximum number of TV channels requested.
     
  • Other Available TV Channels: Channels available for wireless microphone and other low power auxiliary device use that are not available to TV white space devices. These are available channels from 14 to 51 (except 37) on which TV white space devices are prohibited from operating. The TV White Space Database Administrators have online tools available to identify these channels.
  • Reserved Channels: Two channels between channels 21-51 that are designated exclusively for use by wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary device use. They are normally the first available white space channel above and below TV channel 37. The TV White Space Database Administrators have online tools available to identify these channels.
     
  • Schedule: The times when the unlicensed low power auxiliary device will be used at the venue. Unlicensed LPADs are protected from white space devices only during these times. Schedule can be provided as multiple single events or multiple weekly recurring events. Single events may continuously operate over multiple days. A recurring event time slot is limited to a single day, but may occur one or more days each week.
     
  • Type of Location: There are two types of locations, Discreet Coordinates and Area Defined by 4 Points. Both types of locations provide protection based on interference protection distances defined in rule 15.712(d). Discreet Coordinates provide protection based on distance around a specific fixed point. Multiple locations for a venue may be protected by listing the center coordinates of multiple points. Area Defined by 4 Points provide protection based on distance around an area. Only one area can be provided. To specify the area, list 4 consecutive coordinate points in a clockwise direction with no more than 3 km between two adjacent points.
     
  • TV Band Devices: Unlicensed transmitting devices operating on vacant TV channels, also known as white spaces, between TV channels 2 - 51. These devices generally provide communications of broadband data and other services for consumers and businesses.

  • TVWS Database Administrators: Entities that have been designated by the Commission to administer the TV bands database function. The purpose of the TV bands database is to identify unused spectrum, i.e., vacant channels, that TV bands devices may operate on without interfering with incumbent licensed operations.

  • Unlicensed Low Power Auxiliary Devices (LPADs): Term used to represent wireless microphones and other low power devices used on an unlicensed basis at sporting events, entertainment events and places of worship that operate on an unlicensed basis under a waiver of our rules. It includes wireless intercoms, wireless in-ear monitors (“IEM”), wireless audio instrument links, and wireless cueing equipment (aka “IFB”.)

  • Venue: Location where unlicensed LPADs will be used. Venue information includes the Venue’s name, type, street address, city, county, state, zip codes and location coordinates.

Bureau/Office: 

Updated: 
Wednesday, December 9, 2015