Proposed class licence in 4.9 GHz band: public safety agencies | ACMA

Proposed class licence in 4.9 GHz band: public safety agencies

Issue for comment 43/2012

Submissions received

The ACMA received six submissions in response to the consultation paper, Proposed class licence in the 4.9 GHz band for public safety agencies. The submissions are available below:

  • AmberTech 
  • Department of Defence (DoD)
  • Law Enforcement and Security Radio Spectrum Committee (LESRSC)
  • Motorola Solutions Australia 
  • National Coordinating Committee for Government Radiocommunications (NCCGR)
  • Telstra 

Submissions received in response to the consultation paper indicated that stakeholders were generally supportive of the proposals. Feedback from stakeholders was the new footnote to the ARSP proposed was too restrictive and did not support the objectives of PSAs. The ACMA has undertaken to add footnote AUS102A to the band instead to help users identify which specific parties should be consulted when access is required to the band. 


Organisations providing public safety services rely heavily on a broad range of communications services to carry out their responsibilities. The use of radiocommunications is a critical component of public safety operations.

The ACMA, in conjunction with relevant agencies, has been working with public safety agencies (PSAs) to identify their spectrum needs into the future. The ACMA’s general approach has been described in Spectrum for public safety radiocommunications—Current ACMA initiatives and decisions (Word [.docx] or PDF formats).

The 4940–4990 MHz frequency range (the 4.9 GHz band) is a key band that forms part of a multi-layered approach to public safety radiocommunications.

The ACMA proposes to introduce a class licensing arrangement in the 4.9 GHz band to allow PSAs to use this band to enhance their ability to perform public safety activities. The class licence would authorise access to 50 MHz of the 4.9 GHz band on a non-exclusive basis by PSAs, without the need for individual device licences. A class licensing arrangement provides significant flexibility in deployment during emergency response and disaster recovery activities. Also, PSAs can access spectrum to facilitate their activities without administrative overheads.

The ACMA now seeks comment from interested parties on the proposed class licensing arrangements for the 4.9 GHz band. To assist interested parties in making submissions, the ACMA has prepared a discussion paper which explains the proposed arrangements.

The 4.9 GHz consultation paper and related draft instruments are available below:


Word (.docx)


Consultation paper – Proposed class licence in the 4.9 GHz band for public safety agencies

733 kb  745 kb 

Attachment A – Draft class licence Radiocommunications (Public Safety and Emergency Response) Class Licence 2012

72 kb 360 kb 

Attachment B - Draft ARSP variation Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan Variation 2012

62 kb  45 kb 

Attachment C – Coordination requirements with radioastronomy sites

25 kb  16 kb 

The closing date for submissions was extended. Stakeholders were invited to provide a response to this discussion paper by 21 December 2012.

Media enquiries should be directed to Emma Rossi on +61 2 9334 7980 or by email to

Effective consultation

The ACMA is working to enhance the effectiveness of its stakeholder consultation processes, which are an important source of evidence for its regulatory development activities. To assist stakeholders in formulating submissions to its formal written consultation processes, it has developed Effective consultation: A guide to making a submission. This guide provides information about the ACMA’s formal written public consultation processes and practical guidance on how to make a submission.

Publication of submissions

In general, the ACMA publishes all submissions it receives. The ACMA prefers to receive submissions that are not confidential. However, the ACMA accepts that a submitter may sometimes wish to provide information in confidence. In these circumstances, submitters are asked to identify the material over which confidentiality is claimed and provide a written explanation for the claim.

The ACMA will consider each confidentiality claim on a case-by-case basis. If the ACMA accepts a claim, it will not publish the confidential information unless authorised or required by law to do so.

Release of submissions where authorised or required by law

Any submissions provided to the ACMA may be released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (unless an exemption applies) or shared with other Commonwealth Government agencies or certain other entities under Part 7A of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005. The ACMA may also be required to release submissions for other reasons including for the purpose of parliamentary processes or where otherwise required by law (for example, under a court subpoena). While the ACMA seeks to consult submitters of confidential information before that information is provided to another party, the ACMA cannot guarantee that confidential information will not be released through these or other legal means.

Last updated: 03 April 2013