What is narrow banding?
New Zealand, in line with the rest of the world, has legislated that wideband (25Khz) Land Mobile Radio (LMR) channels up to 470Mhz need to cease operation by 1 November 2015 and those above 470MHz by December 2019.
Those using radios that operate on wideband 25Khz channels will need to migrate to narrowband (12.5Khz or 6.25Khz) channels by that time. The reason for this is to have more efficient use of the spectrum which creates more available channels.
Who does it affect?
Typically those radio users that operate on VHF or UHF channels, either via repeaters or Simplex, that have been in operation for more than 10 years may be using wideband channels. Channels allocated in the last 10 years or so are likely to be narrowband.
What to do?
Check to see if your channel (or system) is wideband (25Khz). You can either refer your annual licence, if you have one, or ask your service provider to confirm it for you. Alternately MCS Digital can confirm it for you.
Do I have to change radios?
If your radios are less than 10 years old chances are they will be capable of operating on wide as well as narrow band channels, so they will be able to be reprogrammed to operate on a narrowband channel. If they are older they may be wideband only radios in which case you will need to buy new radios.
Will I need a new licence?
Yes. You will need a new narrowband channel licence which will replace your existing wideband channel licence (if you have one). MCS Digital can arrange this for you.
Do I need to go digital?
No you don’t have to, but it might be a good idea if you have to change radios, so that you can take advantage of what digital offers (clearer audio, greater range, longer battery life, more features, GPS, etc) The good thing about digital radios is that (mostly) they will work with your current analogue sets, so that you can migrate to digital over time.
Any questions please call us on 0800 27 8080.