Submissions to apparatus licensing arrangements for femtocells | ACMA

Submissions to apparatus licensing arrangements for femtocells

Submissions received

The ACMA received six submissions in response to the consultation paper Licensing arrangements for femtocell deployment. Submissions to the consultation closed on 17 September 2012. The submissions are available below.


The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) is developing licensing arrangements to facilitate the deployment of femtocells in non-spectrum-licensed areas within Australia. Femtocells have already been deployed under existing spectrum licence arrangements in metropolitan and some regional areas of Australia.

Femtocells are small, low-powered devices used to improve mobile coverage in homes and business premises. They use a premises' fixed broadband connection to backhaul voice and data calls via the internet to a mobile network.

The licensing approach proposed by the ACMA will enable mobile network operators to deploy femtocells under existing apparatus licences. The proposed use of an existing apparatus licence type to authorise the operation of femtocells will require an amendment to a legislative instrument. To facilitate their wider deployment, the ACMA has developed special licence conditions that remove record keeping and location notification requirements that would otherwise apply to femtocells.

This consultation paper seeks comment on the proposed amendment to the legislative instrument and the proposed licensing approach.

The paper is available in Word (.docx 312 kb) and PDF (313 kb) formats. The proposed amendment determination is also available in Word (.docx 44 kb) and PDF (39 kb) formats.

Media enquiries should be directed to Emma Rossi on 02 9334 7719 or by email to

Any other enquiries may be directed to the Manager, Infrastructure Policy Section, by email to

Additional information

The ACMA is separately consulting on amendments to RALI MS 33 that define coordination requirements for the deployment of low-powered indoor devices such as femtocells. The draft RALI is available in both Word (.docx 784 kb)and PDF (838 kb). Comments on the draft amendments to RALI MS 33 can be made by email to:

Effective consultation

The ACMA is working to enhance the effectiveness of its stakeholder consultation processes, which are an important source of evidence for its regulatory development activities. To assist stakeholders in formulating submissions to its formal written consultation processes, it has developed Effective consultation: A guide to making a submission. This guide provides information about the ACMA's formal written public consultation processes and practical guidance on how to make a submission.

Publication of submissions

In general, the ACMA publishes all submissions it receives. The ACMA prefers to receive submissions that are not claimed to be confidential. However, the ACMA accepts that a submitter may sometimes wish to provide information in confidence. In these circumstances, submitters are asked to identify the material over which confidentiality is claimed and provide a written explanation for the claim.

The ACMA will consider each confidentiality claim on a case-by-case basis. If the ACMA accepts a claim, it will not publish the confidential information unless authorised or required by law to do so.

Release of submissions where authorised or required by law

Any submissions provided to the ACMA may be released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (unless an exemption applies) or shared with other Commonwealth Government agencies under Part 7A of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005. The ACMA may also be required to release submissions for other reasons including for the purpose of parliamentary processes or where otherwise required by law (for example, under a court subpoena). While the ACMA seeks to consult submitters of confidential information before that information is provided to another party, the ACMA cannot guarantee that confidential information will not be released through these or other legal means.

Last updated: 27 July 2017