ProSystems previously reported on SACIA’s urgent efforts to facilitate a representative industry response to proposed draft legislation tabled by ICASA regarding radio frequency spectrum availability and licensing, which will drastically affect the users, resellers and distributors of wireless microphones in the AV industry. The draft is on course and will be presented to ICASA as planned.

The submission will inform ICASA of the scope of use of wireless microphones in South Africa, how the draft National Radio Frequency Plan 2017 (NRFP 2017) may impact users, resellers and distributors, and to propose options to ICASA for consideration.

SACIA’s draft submission will raise the following specific matters:
• The current stock of wireless microphones in South Africa operates in radio frequency bands ranging from 40 Mhz all the way up to 952 MHz, with some systems operating in the GHz ranges

• The proposed changes have far-reaching implications for a broad spectrum of end-user groups. Schools, Houses of Worship, broadcasters and thousands of small and medium enterprises in the events management industry could be required to invest in new wireless microphone stock.

SACIA is concerned primarily that the current draft legislation removes 96MHz from the available spectrum for wireless microphones, and offers its assistance to ICASA to develop a migration strategy that will both protect consumers who own existing microphones but will also remove this equipment from the South African market over a period of time.