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Area-wide apparatus licensing in the 26 and 28 GHz bands

The ACMA has finalised arrangements for area-wide apparatus licences (AWLs) in the 26 and 28 GHz millimetre wave bands.

We will conduct Australia’s first allocation of millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum for 5G and other uses, with the issue of AWLs starting this November. Find out more about mmWave technology.

We have set the application window for Round 1 applications (24.7–25.1 GHz and 27.5–30 GHz, Australia-wide) as follows:

Application window opens 4 November 2020 at 10 am AEDT
Application window closes 17 November 2020 at 5 pm AEDT

See below for details on how to apply for an AWL in Round 1.

A second AWL allocation will take place after the spectrum licence auction in the first half of 2021. This is for apparatus licences in the frequency range 25.1–27.5 GHz in all areas other than those designated for spectrum licensing.

Before you apply for a licence in Round 1, you should read the documents that set out:

  • the allocation process
  • the technical framework
  • the amounts of tax and charges.

These may be different in some places to the arrangements we discussed in the Proposed licensing arrangements in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands consultation.

Applicant information pack

The applicant information pack (AIP) is a guide for those applying for an AWL. It contains the details of how the allocation process will work. You should read this before making an application.

Tax calculator and calculator guide

The AWL tax calculator will help you to estimate the annual tax amounts for AWLs in the 26 and 28 GHz bands. This tax calculator guide will help you use it. The calculator has been updated from the one we provided with our consultation documents. It now lets you calculate total tax when aggregating different bandwidths with different geographic cell combinations

The tax calculator does not include the issue charge or renewal fee for the AWL.

Consultation summary and response to submissions

HCIS converter

To support AWLs in the 26 and 28 GHz bands, we have also made changes to the ACMA’s hierarchical cell identification scheme (HCIS) to add two additional layers. The HCIS provides an alphanumeric reference to areas described in the Australian spectrum map grid (ASMG).

The HCIS converter will help you visualise the geographic area covered by the HCIS cells that you wish to apply for.

How to apply for an AWL in Round 1

The application window for Round 1 applications will open on 4 November 2020 at 10 am. You will be able to apply via our online forms portal. The form will not be available until the application window opens.

To help you understand the process and what the portal screens will look like, we have provided screenshots of each page of the form. All AWL applications must be submitted online.

  • Applicants should read the applicant information pack before filling in the forms.
  • Applicants will need to sign up for a myGovID to access the online application form (ACMA accredited persons already have access to the portal).
  • Make sure you complete each section before you submit the form or there may be a delay in the application process.
  • Please provide your (the applicant’s) details and not an agent’s.
  • You can upload files if you want to provide additional information.

If you have any questions, please email or contact our Customer Service Centre on 1300 850 115.

Issuing of Round 1 licences and reversion to over-the-counter licensing

We aim to issue licences to successful applicants for Round 1 by mid-December. We’ll be starting with the issue of fixed-satellite service-only (FSS-only) AWLs in the spectrum and areas where FSS is the sole primary service.

We will then be able to receive new applications for FSS-only licences in the sole primary spectrum and areas on an ongoing ‘over-the-counter’ basis. This will ensure ongoing access to the sole primary spectrum/areas for gateway earth stations licensed under FSS-only AWLs while we consider the remaining Round 1 AWL applications.

When the Round 1 licence issue is complete, the ACMA website will provide details of the successful applications and information on any unallocated spectrum. We will let you know when we are ready to accept over-the-counter applications for AWLs across the entire Round 1 bands. This includes applications for FSS-only AWLs in the co-primary spectrum/areas.

Commercial information

Information provided by the applicant or authorised representative in the application form that is marked with a caret (^) is required by section 147 of the Radiocommunications Act to be disclosed to the public by the ACMA in the Register of Radiocommunications Licences. The ACMA will disclose the contents of the Register by making it available for inspection at any ACMA office and on its website.

Any information provided by applicants that is not required to be disclosed on the Register will be considered commercial in confidence. Except as required or authorised by law, the ACMA will not disclose commercially confidential information. The ACMA has discretion under its enabling legislation to release authorised disclosure information to other government entities, for example the ACCC, our Minister and official of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications. For more information, see our information sharing guide.

Privacy information

Find out more about the ACMA’s privacy policy.

Next up: 26 GHz spectrum auction
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