There are three types of radiocommunications licences:
Radiocommunications equipment typically authorised under an apparatus
licence includes stations operating in the Outpost, Amateur, Broadcasting,
Maritime, Aircraft and Land Mobile services. Operation of equipment under an
apparatus licence involves the payment of licence fees. Individual licences are
issued to authorise the operation of equipment.
Class licences are open, standing authorities that allow anyone to operate
particular radiocommunications equipment provided that the operation and the
device is in keeping with the conditions of the licence. Class licences do not
have to be applied for and no licence fees are payable. Equipment that is
currently subject to class licensing in Australia includes citizen band radios,
mobile phone handsets, cordless telephones and a range of other low power
devices, such as garage door openers.
Generally speaking all radiocommunications transmitters must be
licensed. The only exceptions relate to emergencies where a person does
not contravene section 46 or 47 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 by operating a
radiocommunications device, or having a radiocommunications device in his or
her possession, in the reasonable belief that the operation or possession was
necessary for the purpose of:
- securing the safety of a vessel, aircraft or space object that was in
- dealing with an emergency involving a serious threat to the
- dealing with an emergency involving risk of death of, or injury to,
- dealing with an emergency involving risk of substantial loss of, or
substantial damage to, property.
Spectrum licensing is a form of licensing introduced in Australia by the
Radiocommunications Act 1992. Spectrum licences are a tradeable,
technology neutral (that is, the licence is not related to any particular
technology, system or service) spectrum access right for a fixed non renewable
term. Instead of authorising the use of a specific device, spectrum licences
authorise the use of spectrum space and give licensees the freedom to deploy
any device from any site within their spectrum space, provided that the device
is compatible with the core conditions of the licence and the technical
framework for the bands.
Certain work required for the issue or variation of apparatus licences and
for the management of spectrum space under spectrum licences may be performed
by persons who have obtained accreditation
from the ACMA to carry out such tasks.