Australian radiofrequency spectrum plan | ACMA

Australian radiofrequency spectrum plan

At their broadest level, Australian spectrum allocation arrangements are embodied in a statutory instrument known as the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan. The Spectrum Plan divides the Australian radiofrequency spectrum into a number of frequency bands and specifies the general purpose and use for each band. This process is referred to as the allocation of frequency bands to radiocommunication services. The Spectrum Plan is intended to:

  • provide a basis for management of the radiofrequency spectrum in Australia

  • inform and educate radiocommunication users and the public about the various types of services that can be operated in each frequency band, and the conditions attached to their operation

  • reflect Australia's obligations as a member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

  • provide details of international frequency allocations agreed by the ITU for the three world Regions.

The Spectrum Plan, including additional informative material, is published as the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan 2017. The Spectrum Plan is reviewed on a regular basis and updated in response to the Final Acts of ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences. These conferences occur nominally at four yearly intervals, the last being held in Geneva, Switzerland, November 2015.

An update to the Spectrum Plan has recently been made, incorporating changes from this latest conference along with updates on several domestic issues.

This new version of the Spectrum Plan came into effect on 1 January 2017. 

The Spectrum Plan is available on the Federal Register of Legislation.

The ACMA also publishes the Spectrum Plan as part of a document which includes additional information about the Plan and about spectrum use in Australia in general. This document is available for download below, and consists of: 

  • Chapter 1, the general information section, which introduces the basis of the Plan, gives broad guidance in its use, and discusses the international framework from which it is developed. 
  • Chapter 2, the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan, which is the legal instrument whose contents bind the ACMA in making decisions on the use of the radiofrequency spectrum.

For further details on current use of and issues related to radiofrequency spectrum in Australia, and to view the further direction of the ACMA’s spectrum management, please refer to ACMA’s Five-year spectrum outlook.

Unspecified services—decisions under subsection 10(10)

The 2017 version of the Spectrum Plan introduced a new provision (subsection 10(10)) which allows the ACMA to approve the operation of an unspecified service in a frequency band in certain circumstances. The ACMA has prepared a policy document which describes the use of this new clause in detail. It discusses the circumstances in which the new subsection is intended to be used, and what factors will be considered when making a decision on whether to authorise an unspecified service.

The policy document is available from the downloads table below.

Decisions under section 10(10):

Decision date Subject of decision Supporting information Word (.docx) PDF
20 Oct 2017  Earth station transmitters in motion communicating with non-geostationary space stations in the fixed-satellite service (Earth-to-space) in the frequency range 28.5–29.1 GHz  IFC 11/2017 Regulatory arrangements for GSO and NGSO ESIMs  113 kB  228 kB 
20 Oct 2017  Earth station transmitters in motion communicating with geostationary space stations in the fixed-satellite service (Earth-to-space) in the frequency range 28.5–29.1 GHz  IFC 11/2017 Regulatory arrangements for GSO and NGSO ESIMs  113 kB  227 kB 
20 Nov 2018 Fixed service allocation in the frequency ranges 5600–5620 MHz and 5630–5650 MHz IFC 13/2018 Point-to-multipoint apparatus licensing in the 5.6 GHz band  126 kB 28 kB

Spectrum Illustrated

Spectrum Illustrated is a graphical guide to major spectrum allocations in Australia. It offers a simplified view of where services such as mobile telephones, satellites and television are located in the radiofrequency spectrum. Spectrum Illustrated has been developed as an educational guide and as such does not show all the uses of the radiofrequency spectrum detailed in Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan. Spectrum Illustrated is available from the downloads table below.




Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan 2017including general information

Word, 618 kB
PDF, 1.7 MB

Table of frequency band allocations

Excel, 168 kB

Unspecified services policy

Word, 358 kB
PDF, 243 kB

Spectrum wall chart 2017

PDF, 536 kB

Spectrum Illustrated

PNG, 4.1 MB

Last updated: 22 November 2018