A PTS licence is a type of apparatus licence that is issued for a service that consists of 1 or more stations that are operated for the provision of a public mobile telecommunications service (PMTS).
The licensing option available under a PTS licence for services in the 2 GHz band is PMTS Class B.
The PTS and PMTS Class B licences are defined in the Radiocommunications (Interpretation) Determination 2000.
In May 2010, the ACMA invited applications for public telecommunication services (PTS) licences in the paired frequency ranges 1920 – 1980/2110 – 2170 MHz (the 2 GHz band) in regional and remote areas of Australia. The ACMA received two applications during the specified (10 working days) application window period to assess on a “first-in-time” basis.
Assessment of the two applications received in the initial OTC allocation process, from Optus and Telstra, resulted in licences being allocated for 963 and 1,401 sites, respectively:
- Optus Mobile Pty Ltd site names for 2 GHz band PTS licences
- Telstra Corporation site names for 2 GHz band PTS licences
The ACMA has opened the 2 GHz band for general release and is now accepting applications at any time for apparatus licences for public telecommunications services in regional and remote areas of Australia.
Assessment of an application received over-the-counter from Ergon Energy Telecommunications Pty Ltd, has resulted in licences being allocated for an additional 143 sites.
The applicable regional and remote areas of Australia are those areas not subject to spectrum licensing arrangements and other related embargoes. Further information about the specified areas can be found in the Radiocommunications and Licensing Instruction MS33 (RALI MS33).
Relevant technical, administrative and legislative documents for the 2 GHz band include:
- The Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan 2009;
- Radiocommunications Assignment and Licensing Instruction MS33 (RALI MS33) – This document contains the assignment model that applications will be assessed on;
- Radiocommunications (Interpretation) Determination 2000 – This document contains the definition of expressions used under the Radiocommunications Act 1992 in relation to public mobile telecommunication services.
- Radiocommunications Assignment and Licensing Instruction MS3: Spectrum Embargoes – Relevant embargoes for the 2 GHz band, as of September 2009, include embargoes 41 and 49;
- Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2003 – This document contains conditions that are relevant to all apparatus licences issued by the ACMA;
- Radiocommunications (Charges) Determination 2007 – This document contains details on apparatus licence fees payable for PMTS Class B licences in the 2 GHz band;
- Radiocommunications (Transmitter Licence Tax) Determination 2003 (No. 2) – This document sets out the amount of annual tax payable at the time the apparatus licence is issued, or at the anniversary of a transmitter licence coming in to force or for the holding of a transmitter licence; and
- Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (PTS Licence) Determination 1997 – This document contains conditions specific to public mobile telecommunications service licences in the 2 GHz band.
Before lodging an application, prospective applicants need to ensure that they are eligible to apply for a PMTS class B apparatus licence. Applicants must hold a carrier licence under the Telecommunications Act 1997 unless:
- A nominated carrier declaration is in force in relation to the network unit; or
- The service is not being used to supply a carriage service to the public, but is being operated within the network owners immediate circle; or
- An exemption applies.
The frequency assignment work required for the issue of an apparatus licence must be performed by an accredited person. An accredited person doing this work will issue a frequency assignment certificate (FAC), which then accompanies a client’s licence application to be submitted to the ACMA.
A list of Accredited Persons is available on the ACMA website.
The apparatus licence fee is made up of two parts – an administrative fee; and an annual transmitter licence tax. The administrative fees are defined in the Radiocommunications (Charges) Determination 2007 and the annual transmitter licence tax is defined in Table 702 of Part 7 of the Radiocommunications (Transmitter Licence Tax) Determination 2003 (No. 2).