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Improved spectrum access and pricing for satellite services - consultation 40/2019

Australia is about to receive new satellite services. To support this, the ACMA wants your feedback on plans for better spectrum access and pricing. We made these plans after reviews of the 11 GHz and 28 GHz bands.

Submissions now public
Consultation number
IFC 40/2019
Days remaining 0 of 54 days
  • 1

    Open for comment

    12 Dec 2019
  • 2

    Consultation closed

    03 Feb 2020

Key documents


On 27 February 2020, the ACMA made decisions that improved spectrum access and pricing arrangements for satellite services. This is part of our work to support the satellite industry and introduction of new satellite services into Australia.

We have made an extra 2.6 GHz of spectrum available. It expands the amount of continuous spectrum available for ubiquitous earth stations terminals to:

  • 2.05 GHz in the 10.7 to 12.75 GHz band
  • 2.5 GHz in the 17.7 to 20.2 GHz band
  • 1.7 GHz in the 28.3 to 30 GHz band 

The ACMA has also decreased licence taxes for space licences in the 10.7 to 11.7 GHz, 18.2 to 18.8 GHz and 19.3 to 19.7 GHz bands to the minimum amount.

See the Radiocommunications (Communication with Space Object) Class Licence Variation 2020 (No. 1) and Radiocommunications (Transmitter Licence Tax) Amendment Determination 2020 (No. 1).

After weighing up submissions, we made a minor change to the note in the class licence outlining interference management for the Mid-West Radio Quiet Zone.  This ensures that the note is consistent with interference management practices.

One submission suggested the ACMA either:

  • undertake a public education campaign so that future earth station users are aware of interference management arrangements for earth station receivers operating under the class licence
  • make vendors selling receivers publicise the requirements in a clear way

As outlined in the consultation paper, the ACMA considers the onus is on the licensee to provide information to customers about the expected quality of service.  The ACMA will not undertake a public education campaign on this issue.

Many devices operate under similar interference management arrangements without such requirements. (For example, devices authorised under the Low Interference Potential Device Class Licence.) We see no need for such a rule.

The ACMA will continue to put in place outcomes of the 11 GHz and 28 GHz reviews. The key tasks are:

  • Investigation of a further extension of arrangements to facilitate ubiquitous fixed-satellite services below 28.3 GHz. This will occur after further investigation of coexistence measures. It will include consideration of the outcomes of the 26/28 GHz band apparatus licence technical framework Technical Liaison Group.
  • Updates to procedures with assessment of licence applications for space and space receive apparatus licences. We will update these when considering the way forward with IFC 38/2019.

The issue

We want to make changes that will help with the use of extra spectrum in the 10.7 to 11.7 GHz, 18.2 to 18.8 GHz, 19.3 to 19.7 GHz and 28.3 to 29.5 GHz bands for satellite services. Following earlier reviews, we would also like to update pricing arrangements.

The changes will aid the introduction of new satellite services and the systems they use.

The ACMA is also making the rules that protect the Mid-West Radio Quiet Zone (RQZ) from interference easier to understand. We will do this by giving extra information in the CSO Class Licence.

Have your say

The ACMA would like your comments on the issues in this consultation paper, including:

  1. The draft instrument Radiocommunications (Communication with Space Object) Class Licence Variation 2020 (No. 1).
  2. Our plan to change the Radiocommunications (Transmitter Licence Tax) Determination 2015.
  3. Our plan to update a business operating procedure. This relates how we receive and process applications for space and space receive apparatus licences.

Publication of submissions

Read about the ACMA’s policy regarding the publication of submissions

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