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Burma/Myanmar Frequencies

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I'm going to be travelling to Myanmar in February for a documentary, and I was wondering if anyone on the board has any recent experience there or knowledge of regulations. Over the last 5 years a lot of the restrictions to journalists have been lifted, and I was specifically wondering if anyone has insight as to legal wireless frequencies there. I did a search of the board and the info was not up to date regarding the current situation there.


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  • 10 months later...

   My Myanmar experience was truly wonderful; absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We were all quite nervous about entry into the country, given the equipment that we had, but flying into Mandalay we had no issues at all, and were through Customs/Immigration as fast as I've ever experienced. We were documenting humanitarian work at a hospital that is run by Buddhists, and given the large influence that Buddhism plays there, I believe that the process may have been expedited because of that. No one ever questioned us about the equipment, even though we were traveling on tourist visas as opposed to business visas (this was recommended to us because we weren't selling goods). As for frequencies, I don't think that they have any sort of regulations, and I used Lectrosonics block 19 as well as a Sennheiser G3 in the A block, and the spectrum was clear all the time. Most of our shooting was in a remote area about 50km from Mandalay, but even in Monywa (a fairly large city) I had no interference. I didn't even see a television set in anyone's home until one of the last days there, and I suspect that television broadcast takes up very very little of the UHF spectrum.

   Finding somewhere silent to conduct interviews, on the other hand, is a whole other problem. Even in tiny villages hours away from paved roads, the constant hum of motorbikes is present. Video/Film production is not something that most of the people there have ever witnessed, and we somewhat had to give up on convincing people to be quiet for us (given the documentary nature of our project, this wasn't a deal-breaker). The people are extremely hospitable and welcoming, and naturally very interested in new things such as a documentary crew.

   I'm not sure which part of the country you'll be in, but the Mandalay region was altogether very welcoming, and we had no issues. Given the ongoing/renewed clashes in the border areas, the situation could be different beyond the middle of the country. I've read that journalists are forbidden to enter areas such as the northern Rakhine State, so I would expect the closer you are to those areas, the more scrutiny/hassles your crew may have to endure.

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