Australian Regulations


Short Range Spread Spectrum Devices


The operation of Short
Range Spread Spectrum Devices is authorised under the
Radiocommunications Class
Licence (Spread Spectrum Devices)
. This information paper provides
details of this class licence.


Under a class licence, all
users operate in the same spectrum segment on a shared
basis and are subject to the same conditions. A class
licence governs the frequencies that may be used,
commonly prescribes equipment standards, and may specify
other technical and operational parameters. Class
licences do not have to be applied for, and no licence
fees are payable.

Class licences are
‘issued’ by the ACA by a notice published in the Commonwealth
of Australia Gazette

Radiocommunications Class
Licence (Spread Spectrum Devices)

Spread spectrum devices
are defined in the class licence as radiocommunications
devices that employ direct sequence spread spectrum
modulation techniques, frequency hopping spread spectrum
modulation techniques, or both, to transmit information.

The Spread Spectrum Devices Class

supports the use of short range spread spectrum devices
used in applications such as bar code readers, point of
sale networks, radio local area networks (LANs) and
wireless private automatic branch exchanges (PABXs).

Conditions of Operation

Compliance with

To operate under the
class licence a spread spectrum device must either:

Standards Australia has begun the development of
an Australian Standard for short range spread
spectrum devices. When that standard is completed,
the ACA proposes to adopt it and require that devices
operating under the class licence comply with that

Frequency Bands and

The Spread Spectrum Devices
Class Licence
provides for the operation of spread
spectrum devices employing direct sequence, frequency
hopping or a combination of direct sequence and
frequency hopping modulation techniques within the
frequency bands and power limits indicated in Table

Table 1 – Spread
Spectrum Devices Frequency Bands and Power Limits

Frequency Band (MHz)

Maximum Equivalent
Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP)

915 to 928

1 watt

2400 to 2463

4 watts

  2463 to 2483.5

   200 milliwatts

5725 to 5875

1 watt

Interference Management

Spread spectrum
devices operating under the class licence:

  • must not cause
    interference to other radiocommunications
    services and will not be afforded protection
    from interference caused by other
    radiocommunications services; and
  • when operating in
    bands designated for industrial, scientific
    and medical (ISM) applications will not be
    afforded protection from interference which
    may be caused by ISM applications (eg
    microwave ovens). The relevant ISM bands are
    918-926 MHz, 2400-2500 MHz and 5725-5875 MHz.

Breaches of Licence

It is important that
spread spectrum device users comply with the
conditions in the class licence. Subsection 132(3) of
Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act) provides that:

‘Operation of a
radiocommunications device is not authorised by a
class licence if it is not in accordance with the
conditions of the licence.’

If any condition of
licence is breached (for example, using higher power
than that authorised in the class licence), that
operation is no longer authorised under the class
licence. In such instances, the operator would be
subject to the offence provisions of the Act.

Other Conditions

As well as specific
conditions spelt out in the class licence, operation
of a spread spectrum device is also subject to the
provisions of
the Act.

Further Information

If you have any additional
queries relating to the
Radiocommunications Class
Licence (Spread Spectrum Devices)
please contact any ACA