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Area-wide licence allocation in the 3.8 GHz band

Applying for an area-wide licence (AWL) in the 3.8 GHz band

You can lodge an application for a 3.8 GHz band AWL in accordance with Step 1 below. We are processing applications in 2 stages: 

  • Stage 1: Application window (now closed). 
  • Stage 2: General applications accepted, with licences processed in the order the applications were received. That is, on a ‘first-in-time’ basis. 

You can find more information on the application process in the applicant information pack (AIP) below. 

The AIP is a guide for those applying for an AWL. It has details of the allocation processes for AWLs in the 3.8 GHz band. You should read this before making an application.

How to lodge an application 

Stage 1 applications closed at 2 pm on Thursday 2 May 2024. 

Stage 2 is now open. You can lodge an application via our portal

If you have any questions, please contact

Please note:  

  • To edit an unsubmitted application, or to view the documents you have uploaded as part of your application, click the 'Your current and previous submissions' tab in the portal. 
  • If your internet connection is interrupted, you may see an error message: 'An error occurred – Failed to fetch'. We encourage you to save your application at regular intervals to minimise data loss in the event of an interruption.

Access the 3.8 GHz AWL allocation Q&A page

Technical framework

The technical framework for area-wide apparatus licences (AWLs) in the 3.8 GHz band sets out the minimum conditions and arrangements that allow coexistence with other services operating in, and adjacent to, the 3.8 GHz band.  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: 

  • Check the Radiocommunications (Area-Wide Licences – Limits, Authorisations and Transfers) Determination 2024 for rules that relate to the allocation. This includes eligibility and allocation limits.
  • You should engage an accredited person to assist with your application. 
  • 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 meets all requirements at the frequency and area boundaries of the licence (detailed in the AWL LCD and RALI MS47). 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 MS47. If the spectrum does not meet the rules, you should obtain out-of-policy approval from us before applying. Please email

Apply to the ACMA:

  • RALI MS47 contains the arrangements for AWLs and AWL receive licences in the 3.8 GHz band. 
  • See the applicant information pack for AWLs in the 3.8 GHz band for how to apply and how we assess applications.
  • Attach a copy of any out-of-policy approval given by us to your application.
  • More information on licence applications and tax calculations is provided below.

Step 2: Coordinate and register any transmitter, and optionally any receiver

First, meet the requirements in Chapters 3 and 4 of RALI MS47.

These include:

  • Coordinating with existing services.
  • Implementing operational restrictions or limitations to facilitate coexistence with other services (for example, with radio altimeters near identified airports).
  • Complying with arrangements detailed in other documents before registration.

Register the transmitter:

  • Meet the requirements in Chapter 4 of RALI MS47 before you register the transmitter.
  • Engage an accredited person to register the device in the ACMA’s Register of Radiocommunications Licences.
  • You must register your transmitter before operation, unless it is exempt. Schedule 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).
  • It is strongly encouraged to register receivers under an AWL receive licence, as only registered receivers will be subject to coordination from other services and devices. 

Step 3: Follow the operating conditions

  • Conditions are in the AWL LCD, on the licence and in RALI MS47.
  • 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 Schedule 4 of the AWL LCD
    • coexistence with radio altimeters – see RALI MS47
    • obligations for licensees to help manage and resolve interference – see Schedule 4 of the AWL LCD.

Please note: This information is intended as a guide only. It 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 may be reviewed and updated from time-to-time.

Tax calculator and calculator guide

The AWL tax calculator and guide will help you to estimate the annual tax amounts for AWLs in the 3.8–4.0 GHz band. 

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

Area-wide licence (AWL) calculator and guide

HCIS converter

The ACMA’s hierarchical cell identification scheme (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

This allocation follows our 2021 planning decisions in the 3700–4200 MHz band and the 2022 re-allocation declaration decision for the 3.4/3.7 GHz bands

As a result of these decisions, we are introducing arrangements in the 3.8 GHz band to support local area wireless broadband services on a shared basis with fixed satellite and point-to-point services.

On 20 June 2023, we began consultation on

  • the proposed technical framework 
  • licence tax arrangements
  • licence tenure and renewal
  • 2 options for the approach to allocating AWLs in the 3.8 GHz band.

This consultation included proposed amendments to the Radiocommunications Advisory Guidelines (Managing Interference from Spectrum Licensed Transmitters — 3.4 GHz Band) 2015 (the RAG Tx).  The proposed amendments were relevant to both the 3.8 GHz AWL and 3.4 GHz band spectrum licensing technical frameworks. The consultation closed on 1 August 2023. 

On 4 October 2023, we released the public submissions to this consultation. We made the Radiocommunications Advisory Guidelines (Managing Interference from Spectrum Licensed Transmitters – 3.4 GHz Band) Variation 2023 (No. 2)

We have released 2 outcomes papers regarding our decisions for this allocation. 

Read about other allocations in the 3.4-4.0 GHz band.

Get the emails about changes or announcements by subscribing to our 3.4–4.0 GHz ACMA updates.

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

Commercial information

Information provided by the applicant or authorised representative as required by section 147 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 will be published in the Register of Radiocommunications Licences.  

Any information that is not required to be published on the register will be considered commercial in confidence. Except as required or authorised by law, the ACMA will not disclose commercially confidential information. 

We have discretion under legislation to release authorised disclosure information to other government entities. This includes the ACCC, the minister and officials of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts. For further details, see our information sharing guide.

Privacy information

Find out more about the ACMA’s privacy policy.

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