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
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
(until the 1st of July 2019)
800 MHz Duplex gap
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.