Frequency administration duties
The administration of Austria's frequency spectrum is divided among various authorities according to certain criteria. In this context, it is necessary to distinguish between three levels: general frequency administration, the allocation of frequencies to specific users, and the licensing of specific radio systems.
The frequency usage plan and frequency allocation plan are issued in the form of ordinances by the Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT). These ordinances define specifications with regard to the use of the frequency spectrum.
General frequency administration – which also includes the coordination of frequency usage with neighboring countries – is handled by KommAustria for the spectrum designated for broadcasting in the frequency usage plan and frequency allocation plan. The remainder of the spectrum is administered by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology itself.
Responsibility for allocating frequencies to specific users is assigned as follows:
- KommAustria is responsible for broadcasting frequencies, which are generally allocated in conjunction with a broadcasting license on the basis of an invitation to tender and assessment according to specific criteria ("beauty contest");
- The Telekom-Control Commission is responsible for frequencies subject to a limited number of allocations in the frequency usage plan ("scarce frequencies"), which are generally allocated to the highest bidder in the course of an auction;
- Local telecommunications offices are responsible for all other frequencies ("non-scarce frequencies").
In cases where different authorities are responsible for general frequency administration and for specific frequency allocations (e.g., broadcasting outside of the broadcasting band, or other uses of frequencies within the broadcasting band), the consent of the authority responsible for frequency administration is required for frequency allocation.
Radio system permits are issued by KommAustria in the case of transmission systems designated for broadcasting (generally in connection with the broadcasting license and frequency allocation); the competent local telecommunications office is responsible for all other radio systems.
In certain cases, the operation of radio systems and the use of the corresponding frequency spectrum may be generally permitted by ordinance, meaning that it is not necessary to obtain a frequency allocation or an individual permit for a radio system as long as the relevant requirements are fulfilled.
For information from the Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, please follow the links below.
In addition, information on the allocation of scarce frequencies can be found under "Telecommunications" on the RTR web site: