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Trade your spectrum licence

If you have a spectrum licence, you are allowed to trade (sell) it.

You can only trade with a:

  • person
  • government
  • incorporated company

You can trade all or part of your spectrum licence.

If you reach an agreement, you must tell us. We only recognise the trade after we add it to the licence register.

The rules to trade a spectrum licence are set out in the:

Trade part of your spectrum licence

You can trade part of your spectrum licence by:

  • area
  • bandwidth (frequency)

These parts are called 'standard trading units'.

Standard trading units (STUs)

A single STU is the smallest unit of spectrum space that a spectrum licence can be divided into. 

Think of it like a cube of spectrum space that covers:

  • an area (horizontal)
  • bandwidth (vertical)

The area of an STU is equal to one cell in the Australian spectrum map grid. It's about 9x9km. 

The standard bandwidth of one STU is 1Hz.

You can trade one or more STUs. Sometimes a single STU is too small, but can be combined with another STU:

  • vertically to increase bandwidth
  • horizontally to cover a larger area

There are rules about the minimum bandwidth you may hold as a result of a trade. 

Minimum contiguous bandwidth

We set rules on the minimum bandwidth you may hold as a result of a trade. This is called the minimum contiguous bandwidth (MCB).

This is to make sure that both you and the person you trade with have enough bandwidth for it to be useful.

You cannot trade your spectrum licence if the new licence does not meet these minimum amounts, unless you obtain our prior written permission.

The MCB for each spectrum band may differ because the bands may be used for different purposes.

The minimum amounts are detailed in the Radiocommunications (Trading Rules for Spectrum Licences) Determination 2023.

The Australian spectrum map grid

The Australian spectrum map grid shows the areas of spectrum licences.

The map includes the hierarchical cell identification scheme (HCIS). This makes it easy to see different areas of spectrum licences.

Download the Australian spectrum map grid

Download spatial data for the Australian spectrum map grid (including HCIS)

You can see HCIS area descriptions by using the HCIS to Placemark converter. You will need an application than can display placemarks (aka KML files).

Tell us about a spectrum licence trade

To complete a licence trade, you must first tell us. 

We will add it to the register of radio licences. This usually takes one week, and then your trade is complete.

The trade form must be signed by:

  • you
  • the person you are trading with

You will need to pay a fee.

Notify us about a licence trade (R036).

Give us more information

We collect information about licence trades.

This helps us and others:

  • understand the market for spectrum
  • plan and manage the spectrum
  • trade spectrum

We will only publish information about price if you approve.

Give us information about your licence trade.

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