There is much confusion and misinformation regarding the 700 MHz transition. In order to best serve our customers, Audio-Technica presents the following facts:
FACT: The FCC decided in 1998 to auction off television spectrum in 700 MHz band to help balance the budget. This spectrum is sometimes referred to as the “digital dividend” band. It was to be completed by September 2002. The final auction actually occurred February 2008, a decade later.
FACT: As a result of the FCC’s decision, Audio-Technica stopped development of 700 MHz wireless products in 1998.
FACT: Audio-Technica immediately began development below 700 MHz resulting in the introduction of the 200, 600, 700, 1800, 2000, 3000, 4000, and 5000 Series wireless microphone systems.
FACT: Audio-Technica invested millions of R&D dollars in the development of Ultra Wideband wireless technology, resulting in the revolutionary SpectraPulse® wireless microphone system, in order to ensure that our customers would have reliable wireless product that was immune to white spaces, digital dividend, and other spectrum-crowding issues.
FACT: Audio-Technica began a program of discontinuation for legacy 700 MHz wireless from 1998 on, as more suitable replacement products became available. The products discontinued were the U100, the 7000 Series, Engineered Sound Series and the 1400 Series systems.
FACT: As of February 2009, the FCC has not made a final ruling regarding whether or not existing licensed wireless users in the 700 MHz band will be required to vacate the spectrum, although it is considering a prohibition on wireless microphone operations in this band.
FACT: The FCC has not yet determined the date of or transition period for vacating the 700 MHz band. The Professional Audio Manufacturers Association (PAMA), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), and others are lobbying the FCC for a two-year transition time.
FACT: Even without the FCC’s ruling, it is clear that the 700 MHz spectrum is going to become very crowded; and users of Audio-Technica legacy 700 MHz systems are likely to experience unreliable performance due to interference. It is best to plan on vacating this band no matter how the regulations end up.
FACT: Audio-Technica has never produced a wireless product that operates in the very important “SAFETY BAND” frequencies in 700 MHz. Audio-Technica product users do not need to worry about operating in safety bands.
FACT: Audio-Technica has done its best to protect our customers by creating products outside of the problem spectrum areas. Because of this product development direction, Audio-Technica does not have as many 700 MHz systems in use today as do many other manufacturers, who continued developing product in this spectrum range during the past 10 years.