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Earth licence

An earth licence lets you operate one or more earth stations that communicate with space stations.

What an earth licence is for

An earth licence lets you operate one or more earth stations.

An earth station communicates with a space station via an uplink.

The space station may be:

  • Australian
  • foreign

To receive communications from a space station via a downlink, you need an earth receive licence.

If you have an earth licence, you may not need to license the space station.

To license the space station instead, you will need a space licence

The Radiocommunications (Interpretation) Determination 2015 defines earth licences.

Licence options

There are 2 options for earth licences:

Fixed earth

This is for earth stations that operate from a fixed point.

They communicate with:

  • space stations
  • other earth stations via space stations

You cannot operate a mobile earth station under this licence.

Mobile earth

This licence option allows you to operate a mobile earth station.

This is a station that can be used while in motion, or stationary in the air or on land or water. 

Frequencies for earth stations

An earth licence is an assigned licence.

You must license each earth station if it uses a different frequency.

To use amateur satellite frequencies, you should apply for an amateur licence.

Licence conditions

When you have an earth licence, you must follow the conditions of your licence.

These include:

These conditions help you communicate safely and without interference.

We will include information you should be aware of under the heading 'advisory notes'.


We charge fees for apparatus licences.

In some circumstances, you can apply for a licence fee exemption or concession.

Apply for an earth licence

To apply for an earth licence you should contact an accredited person.

They can:

  • assign you a frequency
  • give you a frequency assignment certificate
  • apply for your licence for you

Transfer an earth licence

You can apply to:

Get technical details

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