Cordless telecommunications devices class licence (information paper) | ACMA

Cordless telecommunications devices class licence (information paper)


The Radiocommunications (Cordless Communications Devices) Class Licence 2014 (the class licence) authorises the operation of a variety of communications devices such as those using technologies known as Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT), Personal Handy Phone Systems (PHS) and CT3.

Class licences

Class licences authorise the operation of specific types of radiocommunications devices provided that the devices are operated in accordance with the conditions of the class licence. Radiocommunications devices authorised under class licences are typically low power transmitters providing short range communications that do not require individual frequency co-ordination for interference management purposes.

Under a class licence, all users operate in the same spectrum segment on a shared basis and are subject to the same conditions. A class licence governs the frequencies that may be used, commonly prescribes equipment standards, and may specify other technical and operational parameters. Class licences do not have to be applied for, and no licence fees are payable.

Cordless communications devices

A cordless communications device is any radiocommunications device that operates according to the conditions set out in the class licence and utilises technologies such as DECT, PHS or CT2 and CT3 technology.

Conditions of operation

Licence conditions

The operation of Cordless Telecommunications Devices is subject to specific conditions detailed in the class licence, in addition to the provisions of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act).

In particular, the devices must not be used for the provision of commercial cordless telecommunications services to the public or for the provision of a connection under a wireless local loop arrangement. The term 'wireless local loop' is defined in the class licence.

Breaches of licence conditions

Operators of devices authorised under the class licence must comply with all conditions in the class licence. Subsection 132(3) of the Act provides that:

'Operation of a radiocommunications device is not authorised by a class licence if it is not in accordance with the conditions of the licence.'

If any condition of the class licence is breached (for example, operating on a frequency not mentioned in the class licence) the operator is no longer authorised to operate under the class licence. In this instance, the operator may be liable for prosecution.

Compliance with standards

Devices manufactured, imported, or modified after 1 July 2001, and operating under the Class Licence, must comply with all radiocommunications standards applicable to them. 'Standard' in this context means a standard made under section 162 of the Act.

A handset or land station must comply with the ARPANSA standard for electromagnetic energy (EME) use[1].

[1] ARPANSA standard means the Radiation Protection Standard for Maximum Exposure Levels to Radiofrequency Fields – 3kHz to 300 GHz published by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency Compliance with technical requirements

Devices operating under the class licence must comply with relevant technical standards specified in Schedule 2 of the class licence.

Operating frequencies

The class licence authorises any person to operate a land station or hand set that uses:

    1. a frequency greater than 1.7175 MHz and not greater than 1.7925 MHz; or
    2. a frequency greater than 30.0625 MHz and not greater than 30.3125 MHz; or
    3. a frequency greater than 39.7625 MHz and not greater than 40.250 MHz; or
    4. a frequency greater than 857 MHz and not greater than 861 MHz; or
    5. a frequency greater than 861 MHz and not greater than 865 MHz; or
    6. Personal Handy Phone System (PHS) technology on a frequency greater than 1895 MHz and not greater than 1899.8 MHz; or
  2. a radiocommunications device that uses Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) technology on a frequency greater than 1880 MHz and not greater than 1900 MHz.

Land stations operated under the class licence must comply with Equivalent Istropically Radiated Power limits specified in Schedule 1 of the class licence.

Last updated: 07 December 2016