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

This page set out the arrangements for area-wide apparatus licences (AWLs) in the 26 and 28 GHz millimetre wave bands.

Technical framework for area-wide apparatus licences in the 26 and 28 GHz bands

The technical framework for area-wide apparatus licences (AWLs) in the frequency range 24.7–30 GHz (the 26/28 GHz bands) sets out the minimum conditions and arrangements that allow coexistence with other services operating in and adjacent to the 26/28 GHz bands.  The conditions or arrangements are:

The technical framework operates using these 3 steps:

Step 1: Determine your needs, then apply for a licence

Define the area and frequency range first

  • Unlike most other types of apparatus licences, AWLs are issued before device coordination. You will need to know the area and frequency range you wish to operate in before applying for an AWL.
  • Go to the ACMA’s Register of Radiocommunications Licences to check if your desired geographical area(s) and frequency range(s) are available.
  • Additional spectrum and/or area may be required so that operation complies with all requirements at the frequency and area boundaries of the licence (detailed in the AWL LCD and RALI MS46). This will make sure that enough ‘spectrum space’ (geographic area and bandwidth) is licensed.
  • The spectrum you apply for should align with the assignment rules in RALI MS46. If the spectrum does not meet the assignment rules, you should obtain out-of-policy approval from us before applying. Please email

Apply to the ACMA:

After you apply:

  • After we receive your application, we will send you an invoice for the application fee.
  • After we approve your licence, we will send you an invoice for the apparatus licence tax. The licence will only be issued once the apparatus licence tax is paid.
  • You may only operate a transmitter once your licence is issued (and all conditions below are met).

Follow the conditions and registration requirements – see next steps.

Step 2: Coordinate and register the transmitter

Before registration, meet the requirements in Chapter 3 of RALI MS46. These include:

  • Coordinating with existing services – see sections 3.1, 3.4 and 3.6 of RALI MS46.
  • Implementing operational limitations to facilitate coexistence with other services (for example, meeting the power flux density limit at the geographic boundary of the licence, where applicable) – see sections 3.3 and 3.5 of RALI MS46.
  • Complying with arrangements detailed in other documents to be met prior to registration – see sections 3.2 and 3.7 of RALI M46.

Register the transmitter:

  • Meet the requirements in Chapter 3 of RALI MS46 before you register the transmitter.
  • Engage an Accredited Person to register the device in the Register of Radiocommunications Licence.
  • You must register your transmitter before operation, unless it is exempt. Schedule 1 Paragraph 4 of the AWL LCD shows the types of transmitters that are exempt from registration – registration-exempt transmitters still must comply with other applicable licence conditions (see Step 3).

Step 3: Follow the operating conditions

  • Conditions are in the AWL LCD, on the licence and in RALI MS46.
  • All transmitters (including transmitters exempt from registration) must comply with conditions where applicable, including:
    • Maximum power levels (within the licensed frequency range and in adjacent frequencies) – see paragraphs 1 and 15 of Schedule 1 of the AWL LCD.
    • Limitations of emissions above the horizon and antenna-pointing requirements in certain frequency ranges and geographic areas – see paragraph 10 of Schedule 1 of the AWL LCD.
    • Limitations of transmitters operating in certain geographic areas, and the operation of certain types of transmitters – see paragraphs 2, 3 and 11 of Schedule 1 of the AWL LCD.
    • Earth station transmitters may only be operated after ITU regulatory status checks have been completed and where minimum antenna requirements are met – see section 3.2 of RALI MS46.
    • Outdoor transmitters with a total radiated power of greater than 23 dBm per occupied bandwidth need to be coordinated with space research service earth stations (including transmitters exempt from registration) – see section 3.4 of RALI MS46.
    • Obligations for licensees to help manage and resolve interference – see paragraphs 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 of Schedule 1 of the AWL LCD.

Please note: This information is intended as a guide only and should not be relied on as legal advice or to replace detailed analysis by licensees and prospective licensees. Licensees and prospective licensees may wish to seek their own legal and engineering advice to determine what the current regulatory framework is and how it applies to your situation.

Note also that this framework is reviewed and updated periodically. The following document describes changes that have been made to the framework, and other related documents, since the introduction of AWLs in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands.

Applications for area-wide licences in 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands

We are accepting applications for AWLs in 24.7–25.1 GHz (lower 400 MHz band), 27.5–30 GHz (28 GHz band) and 25.1-27.5 GHz (26 GHz non-spectrum licensed areas) frequency ranges. Applicants should use the 26 GHz and 28 GHz area-wide licence application form. Licences will be issued on a first-in-time basis.

Area-wide licences (AWLs) issued in the 24.7–25.1 GHz, 27.5–30 GHz (28 GHz band) and 25.1-27.5 GHz (26 GHz non-spectrum licensed areas) are visible on the ACMA’s Register of Radiocommunications Licences.

Successful applicants will be advised of our assessment within 2 weeks of their application. If the application overlaps with a previously submitted application (that is, a licence that is expected to be issued, but has not yet been processed completely), the later applicant will be invited to submit a revised application that does not overlap.  

Licences will only be issued after the invoice has been paid and will commence within 30 days from the date of issue.

Current AWL licensees who wish to add or subtract HCIS cells from their licence can also apply to vary their licence via the first-in-time process. If a licensee wants to add HCIS cells that are not contiguous with the existing AWL areas, the licensee will need to apply for a new licence.

Before you apply

Applicants 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 has details of the allocation processes for AWLs in the 26 GHz and 28 GHz bands. You should read this before making an application.

Area-wide licence (AWL) calculators

Use our AWL calculators to estimate annual licence taxes.

HCIS converter

To support AWLs in the 26 and 28 GHz bands, we have 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.

More information

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

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.

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