What licence do I need? | ACMA

What licence do I need?

The following table provides an indication of the licences that may be needed for different arrangements relating to space systems. 

System type

Situation

Process required

Licences required

Receive only earth stations

In Australia, downlink from a foreign satellite

Downlink coordinated by the ACMA

Earth receive or Space (Class Licence authorises operation of earth stations if a Space licence is in place).

In Australia, downlink from an Australian satellite

Downlink coordinated by the ACMA

Earth receive or Space (Class Licence authorises operation of earth stations if a Space licence is in place).

Earth stations

In Australia, transmitting overseas via a foreign satellite

Uplink coordinated via the ACMA.
Downlink via overseas administrations.

Either Earth licence for the uplink (if licensing via ground segment) or Space receive and the earth station is authorised by the Class licence (if licensing via space segment).

In Australia, transmitting overseas via an Australian satellite

Uplink coordinated via the ACMA.
Downlink via overseas administrations

Either Earth licence for the uplink (if licensing via ground segment) or Space receive and the earth station is authorised by the Class licence (if licensing via space segment).

In Australia, transmitting within Australia via a foreign satellite

Uplink and downlink coordinated by the ACMA

Either Earth licence for the uplink and Earth receive licence for the downlink (if licensing via ground segment) or Space and Space receive licences and the earth station is authorised by the Class licence (if licensing via space segment)

In Australia, transmitting within Australia via an Australian satellite

Uplink and downlink coordinated by the ACMA

Either Earth licence for the uplink and Earth receive licence for the downlink (if licensing via ground segment) or Space and Space receive licences and the earth station is authorised by the Class licence (if licensing via space segment)

Satellite transponder

On a foreign satellite, leased by an Australian organisation, for use in Australia

Depends on customer, uplink and downlink coordinated by the ACMA

Either Earth licence for the uplink and Earth receive licence for the downlink (if licensing via ground segment) or Space and Space receive licences and the earth station is authorised by the Class licence (if licensing via space segment)

On a foreign satellite, leased by an Australian organisation, for use overseas

Uplink coordinated by the ACMA

Either Earth licence for the uplink (if licensing via ground segment) or Space receive and the earth station is authorised by the Class licence (if licensing via space segment)

On an Australian satellite, leased by an Australian organisation, for use overseas

Depends on customer. Uplink coordinated by ACMA

Either Earth licence for the uplink (if licensing via ground segment) or Space receive and the earth station is authorised by the Class licence (if licensing via space segment)

On an Australian satellite, leased by a foreign organisation, for use overseas

None

No licence required - no service provided in Australia

On an Australian satellite, leased by a foreign organisation, for use in Australia

Depends on customer. uplink and downlink coordinated by the ACMA

Either Earth licence for the uplink and Earth receive licence for the downlink (if licensing via ground segment) or Space and Space receive licences and the earth station is authorised by the Class licence (if licensing via space segment)

Launching a satellite

From an Australian base for foreign use

Uplink and downlink coordinated by the ACMA

Vehicle itself may be authorised by a Space licence. Ground stations communicating with the launch vehicle may be authorised by Earth or Earth receive licences.

From an foreign base for Australian use

Jurisdiction of country where launch occurs

No licensing requirements

Aircraft stations

Using Australian airspace and aeronautical satellite frequencies

Coordinated by the ACMA

Radiocommunications (Aircraft) Class Licence 2001

Ship stations

In Australian waters and using maritime satellite frequencies

Coordinated by the ACMA

Radiocommunications (Communications with Space Object) Class Licence 1998

Amateur earth stations

Using amateur satellite frequencies

Coordinated by the ACMA

Amateur licence

What licences apply to space systems?

These are the main licences that apply to space systems:

Apparatus licence

issued to individual clients to enable them to operate a particular type of radiocommunications transmitter or receiver. A separate licence is issued to authorise the operation of each device. The four main types of apparatus licences for space systems are: Earth, Earth Receive, Space and Space Receive licences. Apparatus licences involve the payment of annual licence fees.

Class licence

is an effective and efficient means of spectrum management for services where a limited set of common frequencies are employed and equipment is operated under a common set of conditions. It also involves minimum licence administration by the ACMA. A Class Licence sets out the conditions under which any person is permitted to operate it is not issued to an individual user, and does not involve licence fees or licence conditions applied to individuals. While a Class Licence does not need to be applied for and no fees are payable, it can only be used when operation of the space station is authorised by an apparatus licence. The main class licence that applies to space systems is the Radiocommunications (Communications with Space Objects) Class Licence 1998.

Telecommunications Carrier Licence

is needed if you are providing telecommunications services between locations within Australia. This means you need at least two terminals or earth stations within Australia transmitting to each other. To obtain this licence, contact:

The Manager
Industry Partnership and Numbering Section
Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box 13112, Law Courts,
MELBOURNE VIC 8010

Telephone: +61 3 9963 6800
Facsimile: +61 3 9963 6979

Email: carriers@acma.gov.au
Website: www.acma.gov.au

Spectrum licence

generally applies to terrestrial services rather than space systems. Instead of authorising a particular technology, system or service, it authorises the use of spectrum space and gives licensees freedom to deploy any device from any site within that spectrum, provided it meets the conditions of the licence and technical framework.

Last updated: 17 October 2013