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Audio Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) equipment

Last update 17th March 2016

The French Government has decided to allocate the 700 MHz band (694-790 MHz) to mobile services. This operation in metropolitan France will start in April 2016 and be completed in late June 2019.

Some PMSE equipment that currently use the frequencies in the 700 MHz band will be impacted by this reallocation. In the following information page, ARCEP specifies the conditions of this reallocation and temporary measures under which PMSE can continue to use the 700 MHz band until the 1st of July 2019.

The reallocation of the 700 MHz band

In addition, it is useful now to advise to PMSE users, when procuring new PMSE equipment, to check that they can also operate outside the 700 MHz band, so they continue to be used after 1st July 2019.


Audio PMSE equipment (for Programme Making and Special Events), also called audio SAP/SAB equipment (for Service Ancillary to Programme making and Broadcasting), represents a daily working tool for audio-visual and entertainment professionals.

The audio PMSE equipment (wireless microphones or wireless talkbacks) are essential to the television, theatres and operas professionals for their production or to cover media or sporting events, etc.

PMSE equipment operates radio frequencies, whose conditions of use are set by ARCEP through a dedicated regulatory framework.


The regulatory framework for the frequency used by PMSE equipment is set by Arcep. It defines:

- the allowed frequency bands, which can be used by the audio SAP/SAB. Such use is limited to professional users.

- the technical parameters, which must be respected by PMSE equipment. These technical parameters depends on the frequency bands, and consist primarily of maximum transmit powers.

The table below shows the different frequency bands opened to PMSE equipment and refers to corresponding Arcep decisions which set their conditions of use.

Allowed frequency bands
Relevant Arcep regulation
VHF Band
174-223 MHz
UHF Band
470-694 MHz
Decision n° 2015-0830

NB: the annex of this decision will be updated to clarify the transitional use within the band 694-790 MHz by PMSE equipment until 1 July 2019.
It will contain the list of cities and the associated dates of reallocations beyond which the PMSE use will be restricted.

700 MHz Band
694-789 MHz
(until the 1st of July 2019)
800 MHz Duplex gap
823-832 MHz
1800 MHz Duplex gap

The allowed frequency bands can be used "freely" by PMSE equipment, which means without the need of prior individual authorization, but they are subjected to comply with technical parameters stipulated by the Arcep decisions.

Under this regime, the audio SAP/SAB users are not subjected to payment of fees. However, they must not cause interference to other spectrum uses, and are not protected against interferences.

In particular, the PMSE equipment must ensure the coexistence with digital terrestrial television (DTT) services authorized by the Audiovisual Authority (Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel - CSA), and terrestrial digital audio broadcasting services (DAB) in the band 174-223 MHz. Information on the use of the 470-789 MHz band by DTT could be found on the CSA website:



To meet specific needs, particularly during major events, temporary frequency use authorizations can be issued by Arcep. These authorizations could not exceed a maximum duration set at two months.

Applications must be sent to the National Frequency Agency (Agence nationale des fréquences - ANFR), which proceeds those request on behalf of Arcep.