Legal Responsiblities

In general, the telecommunications authority is responsible for allocating frequencies for communication services. However, for certain frequency ranges the Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology may issue an ordinance limiting the number of allocations. If such a limit is defined, the regulatory authority (Telekom-Control-Commission, or TKK) is then responsible for allocating the frequencies.

The frequency bands listed below were deemed to be limited in number (i.e., scarce) in the Frequency Utilisation Ordinance 2013 (FNV 2013, Federal Law Gazette II No. 63/2014 amendet by Federal Law Gazette II No. 390/2016). As a result, the TKK is responsible for allocating frequencies in the following bands:

  • 451,300-455.750/461,300-465,740 MHz (450 MHz band) Mobile communications
  • 703-733/758-788 MHz (700 MHz band) Terrestrial systems capable of providing  electronic communications services
  • 791-821/832-862 MHz (800 MHz band) Terrestrial systems capable of providing  electronic communications services
  • 880-915/925-960 MHz (900 MHz band) Terrestrial systems capable of providing European electronic communications services
  • 1427-1518 MHz  (1500 MHz band incl extension bands) Terrestrial systems capable of providing European electronic communications services
  • 1710-1785/1805-1880 MHz (1800 MHz) Terrestrial systems capable of providing European electronic communications services
  • 1920-1980/2110-2170 MHz (2100 MHz band) Terrestrial systems capable of providing  electronic communications services
  • 2500-2690 MHz (2500 MHz) Terrestrial systems capable of providing European electronic communications services
  • 3410-3600 MHz Terrestrial systems capable of providing  electronic communications service
  • 3600-3800 MHz Terrestrial systems capable of providing  electronic communications service

The allocation procedure for the frequencies allocated by the regulatory authority (TKK) is governed by Art. 55 TKG 2003.

Under Art. 55 Par. 1 TKG 2003, the regulatory authority is to allocate the frequencies placed under its authority to the applicant which fulfils the prerequisites under Par. 2 No. 2 TKG 2003 and ensures the most efficient use of the allocated frequencies. This is to be determined by the amount of the frequency licence fee offered.

Frequency licensing shall be carried out in compliance with the frequency usage plan and the frequency allocation plan on the basis of objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and reasonable criteria and in a technology-neutral and service-neutral manner. The regulatory authority must put the intended allocation of frequencies out to public tender if the demand for such an allocation is identified by virtue of office or if an application is received and the regulatory authority concludes that the applicant is in a position to comply with the incidental provisions associated with the right to use the frequencies.

Once the terms and conditions of the invitation to tender have been approved by the Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology, the invitation to tender is to be published in the "Amtsblatt zur Wiener Zeitung" with a tender submission period of at least two months.

After carrying out an auction procedure, the regulatory authority is to allocate the respective frequencies to the applicant(s) which ensure(s) the most efficient use of frequencies.

Frequency trading

The possibility of transferring frequencies to other operators is another substantial change compared to the regulations previously in effect. Under certain circumstances, the Telecommunications Act 2003 (TKG 2003) allows companies, which hold frequency usage rights, to transfer such rights to other companies. However, such transfers require prior approval by the regulatory authority.

The regulatory authority is required to publish the application and its decision to approve or reject the transfer of frequency usage rights.

Decisions in this regard must be based on the technical effects of the transfer as well as its effects on competition.

In the terms and conditions of the invitation to tender, the regulatory authority may stipulate that the frequencies to be allocated in the given procedure can be transferred to other companies. Such transfers are only possible on the condition that the usage rights remain unchanged.

Changes in frequency allocations

On the basis of Art. 57 Par. 4 TKG 2003, frequency allocation holders also have the right to petition the regulatory authority for changes in their frequency allocations. When making decisions in this regard, the regulatory authority must consider the technical effects of the changes as well as their effects on competition.

European Spectrum decisions

See Overview by European Commission.

Opinions/Reports by Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG)

See Overview RSPG.