Fixed receive licences - Guidelines | ACMA

Fixed receive licences - Guidelines


This information paper provides details of the licensing arrangements applicable to the fixed receive licence type.

What is a fixed receive licence?

The fixed receive licence type is defined as a licence issued for one or more fixed stations:

  • that are used only for receiving messages;
  • that are not capable of transmitting messages of any kind; and
  • for which the ACMA, or a person accredited under section 263 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992, undertakes co-ordination procedures for the purpose of minimising interference to reception.

Although receivers at fixed stations do not have to be licensed, it is the only means by which they can be protected from interference.

Fixed receive licences are issued, on request, in circumstances where the applicant requires the station's frequencies to be protected from interference through co-ordination procedures. After the co-ordination procedure has been completed, a frequency or frequencies, where available at the specified location, will be assigned to the station.

The fixed receive licence type is defined in the Radiocommunications (Interpretation) Determination 2015.

Note: A fixed licence is required to authorise transmissions from a fixed station.

Licensing options

There is only one licensing option available within the fixed receive licence type:

  • Fixed receive

Licence conditions

The operation of radiocommunications equipment authorised under a fixed receive licence is subject to:

  • conditions specified in the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act), including an obligation to comply with the Act;
  • a condition that any radiocommunications device operated under the licence must comply with all the standards applicable to it;
  • conditions specified in any determinations made by the ACMA under paragraph 107(1)(f) of the Act
  • conditions specified in the licence; and
  • any further conditions imposed by the ACMA under section 111 of the Act.

Generally, conditions are applied to licences to enable users to communicate effectively with a minimum of interference. All conditions relating to a licence must be complied with.

The ACMA may determine, by written instrument, conditions relating to apparatus licences. These conditions are known as Licence Conditions Determinations (LCDs).

The Radiocommunications Licence Condition (Apparatus Licence) Determination 2015 contains conditions of licence that are common to all apparatus licences.

The Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Fixed Receive Licence) Determination 2015 contains conditions of licence that apply to all fixed receive licences. These conditions include the type of communications permitted, with whom the operator is permitted to communicate, callsign usage and relevant equipment specifications.

An advisory note is automatically attached to licences where an LCD is in force. The note will advise of the applicable LCD.

The licence conditions imposed through the relevant LCD may change from time to time. Licensees should ensure that they have informed themselves of the current conditions imposed by the ACMA.

Any other conditions of operation which apply to an individual licence but are not included in the LCD, will be printed on the licence under the heading 'Special Conditions'.

An accredited person may ask the ACMA to impose one or more special conditions on the licence according to the circumstances in which the frequency assignments for the licence are made.

Advisory notes, providing information that may be of interest to a licensee, will be printed on the licence under the heading 'Advisory Notes'.

An accredited person may ask the ACMA to impose one or more advisory notes on the licence according to the circumstances in which the frequency assignments for the licence are made.


Callsigns are a unique series of letters and/or numbers allocated to a radiocommunications user to identify a station. Callsigns must be used for all on-air communications including testing. Callsigns allocated to fixed receive stations conform with International Telecommunication Union Radio Regulations (see Table 1 for callsign construction).

Table 1 - Fixed Receive Callsign Template


Fixed Receive callsign template (example of typical callsign VKA714)


First two alpha characters are VJ, VL, VM, VN, VZ, or AX, with the third character being any alpha


numeric character 2 - 9


numeric character 0 - 9


Apparatus licences may be issued for periods varying from one day to up to five years. However, the most common period is one year.

Applying for an apparatus licence

Applications for an apparatus licence may be made to the Radiocommunications Licensing and Assignments Section, ACMA, Canberra. Applicants should complete the ACMA form Application for apparatus licence(s) (R057). If frequency assignments are required with this licence, the frequency coordination work may be performed either by the ACMA or an accredited person.

If the work is to be done by the ACMA form Application for additional station information (R077) should also be submitted with the licence application.

Alternatively if you wish to use the services of an accredited person you should refer to the List of Accredited Persons for contact details. An accredited person will issue you with a frequency assignment certificate and this should be submitted with the licence application to the ACMA. Accredited persons are not employed by the ACMA, nor is the ACMA responsible for the work of accredited persons.

More information about Accreditation can be found on the ACMA website.


Spectrum is a valuable resource. Fees are intended to ensure a fair return to the Commonwealth for the private use of this valuable public resource. Licence fees are set having regard to spectrum location, geographical location, amount of spectrum occupied and coverage area authorised by the licence.

Detailed information about fees is provided in the Apparatus Licence Fee Schedule booklet.

Individuals and organisations may be eligible for an exemption or concession from the payment of licence fees. For further information see Licence Fee Exemptions and Concessions.

Transfers of apparatus licences

Apparatus licences may be transferred. Applicants wishing to transfer an apparatus licence should complete and submit to the ACMA, the form entitled Applications for Transfer of apparatus licence(s) (R060). Both the transferer and transferee must sign the transfer form. Applicants are required to pay a transfer charge to cover the ACMA's administrative expenses.

There are a number of limitations on the transfer of apparatus licences. The Radiocommunications (Limitation of Authorisation of Third Party Users and Transfer of Apparatus Licences) Determination 2015 specifies these limitations.

A device authorised by the transferred licence is still required to operate under the same technical conditions (including transmission site) as specified on the original licence.

Third party operation

Licensees may authorise, by written instrument, other persons to operate radiocommunications devices under the apparatus licences. These are known as third party authorisations.

There are a number of limitations on third party authorisations. The Radiocommunications (Limitation of Authorisation of Third Party Users and Transfer of Apparatus Licences) Determination 2015 specifies these limitations.

A person authorised to use a radiocommunications device under a third party authorisation is subject to all of the conditions applicable to that device under the licence.

Further Information

If you have additional queries relating to this, or any, licence type, please contact the Radiocommunications Licensing and Assignments Section.

Last updated: 26 February 2018