Guide to 400 MHz band changes | ACMA

Guide to 400 MHz band changes

The 400 MHz band is transitioning to new spectrum arrangements. How this affects you is dependent on your particular circumstances and current radio system. This page provides a step-by-step guide to help you determine the impact of these changes for you.

Step 1: Your system details

This step requires you to find out the technical parameters of your system which includes:

  1. the type of system you are running (Land Mobile, Point to Point, or Point to Multi-point, etc.)

  2. the operating frequency of your system

  3. your operating bandwidth (e.g. 12.5 or 25 kHz)

  4. the operating power of your system.

This information can be gathered from a number of sources, starting with your paper licence issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA). If you are not sure of where to look on your licence for details, this example licence (PDF, 392 kb) shows where they are.

If you do not have your licence at hand or you have several licences and assignments in the 400 MHz band then you may need to use one of the following:

ACMA search register

The ACMA search register displays up to 5000 records. It is particularly useful if you have fewer than 50 licence assignments.

You can use a variety of search inputs to return your specific information. This example shows how to use your client name or number, using details from an example apparatus licence.

On the search register page, select ‘Clients’ from the first dropdown box. The second and third boxes should be left on their default settings (‘any detail’ and ‘matches’). In the last text box, type in the client number or name as shown in figure 1.

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Figure 1 – Search Register

In the next screen, click on the appropriate client number. Please note, in this example as shown in figure 2, there is only one user with that number therefore only one result is displayed.

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Figure 2 – Search results

The next screen lists all of the licences for the client you selected. To access a more detailed view of a certain licence, click on the licence number in the right hand column as shown in figure 3. In this example the licence number (432814) from the example licence is used.

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Figure 3 – Client details

The next screen displays licence details. It shows the licence type (shown on figure 4) and the transmit and receive frequencies at the bottom of the page.

To view further details about this licence, click on the Assignment ID number for a frequency as shown in figure 4.

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Figure 4 – Licence details

This final page will now list all the remaining assignment details, shown in figure 5, you require to proceed to the following step. Please note, if you have multiple assignments, you will need to repeat this process for each assignment.

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Figure 5 – Assignment details

Click on the site name to bring up location details of that site including the density area it falls under.

Other search functions in the register allow you to jump several steps of the process. For example, if you search via a licence number, you will jump straight to client details (figure 3).

Radiocommunications Record of Licences (RRL) Database on CD-ROM

The RRL Database is useful for anyone with more than 50 frequency assignments in the 400 MHz band who has experience using Microsoft Access and database querying. If you do not have this experience, please use the ACMA search register instead.

Step 2: Your density area

The effect of the changes to the band is dependent on the spectrum density of the geographic area where you operate your system.

Land mobile licensees closer than the reuse distance of their service (typically 100km for Land Mobile) to the boundary of a high and medium density area will be required to meet the high and medium density area deadlines.

High, medium, low and remote density areas are defined in the apparatus licence fee schedule and can be downloaded below.

Apparatus licence fee density area maps

High density

Sydney/Wollongong (224 kb)
Melbourne/Geelong (145 kb)
Brisbane/Gold Coast (163 kb)

Medium density

Perth (146 kb)
Adelaide (128 kb)
Newcastle (140 kb)

Low density

East Australia (315 kb)
Western Australia (87 kb)
Tasmania (84 kb)
Darwin (70 kb)

Remote density

Elsewhere

Current spatial boundaries for spectrum density areas are available in a format suitable for use in Geographical Information System (GIS) software (zip).

Step 3: Review paper

Refer to the final discussion paper the ACMA has released on the 400 MHz review - The way ahead – Decisions and implementation options for the 400 MHz band. It contains the final decisions for the band and a proposed time frame for transition.

Attachment 7 of the document summarises the changes that are happening to the band, segment by segment, and references to the specific part of the final paper that relates to the change.

This flow diagram (PDF, 192 kb) broadly shows the changes to the band and can determine if you are affected by the changes or not. You will need to use the information gathered in steps 1 and 2 to accurately follow the diagram. This diagram gives only an indication of the changes to the 400 MHz band and you should read the appropriate chapter in the final discussion paper for more detailed information on changes and transition.

Step 4: Check embargoes

The final step in this process is to check the embargos that currently cover the band. These identify what you can and cannot do in the band and also the timeframes for changes.

The embargos in place are:


Last updated: 14 April 2016