Recap of the reverse auction
As we explained in our March 2017 article, the FCC has completed it’s reverse sale and auction of the 614 – 698 MHz. We thought now would be a good time to recap what the auction was, who the big winners were and what this means from those who are still operating in the now-sold bracket of spectrum. So, let’s recap what the FCC set out to do and why.

All wireless communications (like wireless mics and cell phones) travel over radio frequencies called spectrum. Spectrum is not infinite; thus, as our wireless communication devices continue to grow and multiply, so does the need for them to operate. In an effort to make more room available, the FCC created a reverse and forward auction plan to reallocate the spectrum. The auction was completed in April 2017 with T-Mobile coming out as the largest winner.

The outcome of the auction
The newest owners of the 600 MHz spectrum, mostly T-Mobile along with Dish, Comcast and AT&T, have created timelines and charts with further details as to when we can expect those former frequencies to be dark. T-Mobile has deployed about 25-50% of their changes, and look to be finished with those deployments by the end of 2018. The overall deadline of this project is still slated to be completed by July of 2020.

Trade-in rebate offer
In light of these changes, Audio Acoustics is offering a trade-in rebate for those impacted by the change. Now until October 31st, 2018, when you buy a new Shure QLXD wireless microphone system, you can send Shure your old wireless system that operates in the sold frequencies between 614 – 698 MHz, and they will send you a $250 rebate by check. ALL of the old Electro-Voice RE-2 wireless systems, among others from Shure, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, and AKG are within the sold frequencies.

This is a 1 for 1 trade-in program. To qualify for the rebate, for every “channel” or complete QLXD system (1 receiver and 1 microphone) you purchase, you must have a complete system in the 614 – 698 MHz frequency range to trade in. You can trade in as many systems as you have as long as it’s 1 for 1.

Is this the last auction? Probably not. While nothing has been announced or even hinted at by the FCC, the fact remains that spectrum is finite and the devices that use it aren’t going away or decreasing. Paying attention to these auctions, rebates and trade-ins helps customers keep a pulse on where dollars are best spent. While no one can predict the future of spectrum and wireless mics, its best to have an expert in your corner. Are you looking to trade out your 600 MHz mics? Looking to buy wireless sound equipment that won’t “go dark” after the 2020 deadline?

Contact us today to make the most of the trade-in rebate offer.