September 2018

dB Broadcast has delivered a multi-stage upgrade and replacement of radio microphones, in-ear monitors and wireless talkback (TB) systems for the BBC.

This replaces some equipment impacted by Ofcom’s removal of the 700MHz frequency for Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) use, and also replaces a number of wireless TB systems that were nearing the end of their planned working life. dB won the contract after a competitive bidding process, and has completed the work across approximately 20 different sites throughout the UK.

Ofcom announced the revocation of wireless licences for PMSE from May 2020 in the 700MHz spectrum, and users affected by the clearance of this frequency band needed to modify or replace equipment and installations to remain compliant. The BBC’s existing radio microphones (RM), talkback (TB) systems and in-ear monitor (IEM) systems used this frequency band, and had to be retuned or replaced to operate in the remaining frequency spectrum available for PMSE, which is 470-694MHz.

While existing equipment was retuned where feasible, some was required new, and dB selected key supplier Clear-Com’s FreeSpeak II digital wireless intercom system for TB. dB installed Shure RM products, and IEMs from Sennheiser.

Andy Simpkins, Project Manager at dB Broadcast said: “The new system will reduce unplanned maintenance of the wireless audio systems, and provide future proofing for some years to come.”