Why was there a 400 MHz band review?
The 400 MHz band is mainly used for the land mobile service, but it also accommodates other services including the fixed (point-to-point and point-to-multipoint), radiolocation and amateur services.
However, the 400 MHz band is congested in the major capital cities. In response to this and requests from industry and users of the band, the ACMA began a review of the band in 2008 with the broad objectives of implementing measures to:
- improve government spectrum harmonisation to facilitate more efficient government networks and improved interoperability
- improve the efficiency with which the band is allocated and used
- facilitate new technologies and complementary uses
- minimise the need for ongoing ACMA intervention in the band.
One of the key achievements of the review is the provision of harmonised spectrum for use by government agencies. The ACMA believes strongly that dedicated harmonised spectrum of appropriate size and structure is critical to enabling interoperable radiocommunications between national security, law enforcement and emergency services. These spectrum arrangements are likely to mark the beginning of a new era in government radio networks, with the emergence of large, efficient networks that provide a greater level of support for emergency services and other vital government objectives than is currently the case. The new arrangements create a significant and rarely delivered opportunity for government organisations to develop a nationally harmonised and interoperable system of government radio networks able to deliver effective radiocommunications on a national scale.
Under the new arrangements, several segments in 403–470 MHz have been identified for the exclusive use of government, primarily to support national security, law enforcement and emergency services, but also available to support broader government use once these requirements are met. The ACMA has developed these arrangements in close consultation with individual stakeholders, relevant committees and peak industry groups. The final arrangements complement the objectives developed by these groups and the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)-agreed national framework for improved radiocommunications interoperability.
As well as substantial changes to the overall structure of the band through the creation of harmonised government spectrum and revised frequency splits, the outcomes of the review include improvements to underlying technical arrangements in the band. This includes a reduction in channel bandwidths and updates to the assignment and coordination rules.
Another key outcome of the review is an increase in the technology options able to be supported in the band. Changing the frequency duplex arrangements in the 450–470 MHz band and changing the channelling scheme opens up options for technologies requiring such arrangements. These systems were not supported under previous arrangements.
How can I check if my licence is affected by the 400 MHz new arrangements?
Enter your client or licence number into the ACMA’s online tool to check on your requirements for transition.
How do I make a change to my licence?
You can update your licence with the assistance of an Accredited person. A list of accredited persons and their contact details is available at
An accredited person will issue a frequency assignment certificate (FAC), which is then submitted to the ACMA for allocation in order to comply with 400 MHz implementation requirements.
Alternatively, the licence can be varied by the ACMA. The applicant needs to complete one of the relevant application forms (Land Mobile or Fixed) available under Spectrum forms.
Submit your application to the ACMA’s 400 MHz implementation team by:
Mail: 400 MHz implementation team
PO Box 78
Belconnen ACT 2616
Fax: (02) 6219 5347
Is there a charge to change my licence?
In accordance with the apparatus licence fee schedule, the licence variation without FAC where the ACMA performs technical coordination is the applicable charge for first issue of the licence. This information is set out in our Fees Schedule under Division 9 (Table 9.2) and Division 4 (Table 3.1).
What happens if I don’t change my licence before the transition deadline?
If you don’t change your licence before the deadline, you will be operating in a manner inconsistent with the ACMA’s 400 MHz plan. We are firmly committed to achieving the milestones and delivering the outcomes stated in the The way ahead: Timeframes and implementation plans for the 400 MHz band. To achieve this, we’ll manage transition through our apparatus licence renewal process under sections 129 and 130 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992.
We’ve produced guidelines to outline the circumstances under which we’ll consider exceptions to transition deadlines and renew an apparatus licence under section 130 of the Radiocommunications Act. This is called a Transitional renewal application and exceptions will be granted only in particular circumstances. If an exception is granted, the relevant licence will be renewed for a fixed time period only.
How do I surrender a licence?
To request the surrender of a licence, please notify the ACMA by sending an email to email@example.com
Please provide your client number and the list of licenses would like to surrender.
In cases, where a licence is surrendered early and a pro-rata credit applies, we’ll calculate the appropriate refund and send you a cheque.
Where can I get information on Harmonised government Spectrum (HGS)?
If you are classified as government, you are required to consult with your State/Territory Government National Coordinating Committee for Government Radiocommunications (NCCGR) Representative for guidance on 400 MHz spectrum access. The Government Representative coordinates and endorses the use of government spectrum within its jurisdiction.