Technical framework 20/30 GHz | ACMA

Technical framework 20/30 GHz

This page contains documents and other information relevant to the technical framework for spectrum licensing in the 20/30 GHz band. Detailed information on spectrum licensing is available in the document Know your obligations (Spectrum Licensing): Word or PDF


In April 2006, ACMA completed converting existing Department of Defence wide-area apparatus licences in the 20 and 30 GHz bands to spectrum licences. These bands were being used for satellite communications. The minimal technical framework below supports the continued use of the bands for that purpose.

The technical framework consists predominately of the core and other conditions of the two spectrum licences.

The entire technical framework is predicated on the assumptions that:

  • spectrum and apparatus licensees will employ good engineering practice in establishing and maintaining their services; and
  • receivers employed by apparatus licensees will, as a minimum, meet the relevant standard made under the Radiocommunications Act 1992 or, if there is no such standard, any level of performance referred to in the advisory guideline that applies to the apparatus licensed service in question; and
  • spectrum licensees will be responsible for managing interference that they, or their third party authorisees, cause to their own services through their operation of devices under any spectrum licence or apparatus licence.

The interference mechanisms that the technical framework seeks to manage are those caused by:

  • unwanted in-band emissions;
  • emissions falling outside the frequency band of the licence;
  • transient unwanted emissions such as those caused by switching a transmitter; and
  • intermodulation effects.

All four of these mechanisms are controlled by the core conditions relating to out-of-area and out-of-band emissions.

The technical framework also provides an additional control in relation to out-of-band interference through a licence condition that imposes on the spectrum licensee the responsibility to manage out-of-band interference that arises from devices being located within 200 metres of a fixed transmitter operated under the spectrum licence.

Core Conditions

Emission Limits Outside the Area

The licence area is the entire geographic area of Australia. Emission limits for transmissions outside the area are those defined in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations, including any relevant ITU satellite network filings and coordination agreements.

Emission Limits Outside the Band

Emission limits for transmissions outside the band are those defined in Appendix 3 of the Radio Regulations as published by the ITU for emissions in the spurious domain.

International co-ordination

The ITU Radio Regulations have international treaty status and are binding on Australia. Transmitters operated under a spectrum licence, other than in accordance with ITU Radio Regulations, must not cause interference to any services of any other country which are operating in accordance with ITU Radio Regulations.

If operation of a transmitter does cause harmful interference to overseas services operating in accordance with ITU Radio Regulations, the transmission must cease. Spectrum licensees must also accept interference from any overseas service operating in accordance with ITU regulations. Potential spectrum licensees should note that ACMA will impose such additional licence conditions on spectrum licences as may be necessary to meet its international obligations.

Space and Earth stations operated under these licences must be in accordance with frequency assignments recorded in the Master International Frequency Register of the ITU.

General Information and resources



Know your obligations (Spectrum Licensing)

Word or PDF

Spectrum Licensing Technical Frameworks – Information Paper

PDF (984 kB)
DOC (1.5MB)

Details on Interference Impact Certificates (IICs)

Radiocommunications (subsection 145(3) Certificates) Determination 2012

Trading rules for spectrum licences

Radiocommunications (Trading Rules for Spectrum Licences) Determination 2012

Online tool for HCIS-to-Placemark conversion

Australian Spectrum Map Grid – Shapefiles

ASMG 2012 GDA94 (zipped shapefile)

ASMG 2012 AGD66 (zipped shapefile)

Australian Spectrum Map Grid – Illustration


word (961 kb)

PDF (749 kb)

Last updated: 23 May 2018