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Apply for a trial certificate

Test whether new networks and services are feasible before getting a licence. Industry participants can apply for a trial certificate that lasts for up to 6 months.

Purpose of trial certificates

A trial certificate allows industry participants to find out if new networks and services are feasible. It reduces cost and administration barriers so you can test new services.

Telecommunications (Carrier Licence Exemption - Trial Network Units) Determination 2019 allows an industry participant to operate a network unit(s) for up to 6 months without:

  • a carrier licence
  • a nominated carrier declaration

Before you apply

When you have a trial certificate you still need to follow all the rules for carriage service providers.

Before you apply, you should understand the rules for service providers.  

Your application will need to show that the trial network complies with legislation including the:

How to apply

It’s free to apply. We take about 20 business days to process applications. If we need to ask for extra information, this can take longer.

Complete the Application form for trial certificate (T056). Submit it with any supporting information.

If you need help with the application process, email carriers@acma.gov.au or call 1300 850 115. 

How we assess you

We assess your application to see if it:

  • creates any significant risks
  • will have a commercial impact on other industry participants

The criteria we assess are:

  • the duration of the trial
  • any previous trials for a similar service
  • the reasons for the trial, such as testing technical feasibility or commercial prospects
  • the effect the trial may have on competition
  • any charges to end users participating in the trial
  • whether the size of the trial would unreasonably affect the revenue of a carrier
  • any other matters we consider relevant

We treat the information you supply as commercial-in-confidence, where appropriate. We will not disclose it except as required by law.

Scope

We may set conditions to ensure that the trial remains a genuine trial. The certificate may specify a maximum scope or scale that prevents certain activities. If the trial extends beyond the scope the certificate specifies, we may cancel it.

After the trial period

Ask to extend the trial

A trial certificate starts on its date of issue. It is valid until the expiry date, no more than 6 months from the issue date. At least two weeks before the end of the trial, you can write to us requesting an extension and explaining why you need it.

Decommission the trial

To continue operating once the trial or extended trial is over, you must apply for a carrier licence. If you do not apply, you must decommission the network unit(s).

Report on the trial

Within 28 days of the trial ending, you must provide a report on the results to carriers@acma.gov.au. We use this information to assess future trial certificate applications for similar networks. 

The report should contain:

  • the technical and commercial viability of the service
  • any technical problems and how you think these problems may be dealt with
  • how many complaints were directly related to the trial technology, and how you resolved each complaint
  • whether you believe the trial will lead to the service continuing under a carrier licence. If not, explain how you are decommissioning and removing the trial infrastructure
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