Australian Amateur Radio Statistics

The statistics listed in this site are taken from public data published by Australian Communication Authority, at the end of the fiscal year ending June of each calendar year. Care must be taken in comparing this data to "equivalent" U.S. FCC data. There are differences in the in regulations that make direct comparisons problematic. This information may be useful in projecting trends in the Amateur Radio service in other countries planning similar license processes.

Please use this data carefully. Consider the following points:

  1. Licenses are similar, but not identical.

    Although there are four license classes: Unrestricted, Limited, Novice, and Novice Limited, the ACA only publishes data for the total number of licensees. Data by license class in not publically available.

  2. Stations licenses are relatively expensive

    Austrian Amateurs pay about A$57 per annum for the privilege of operating an Amateur Radio Station. In addiction amateur repeater and beacon stations are separately licensed at a fee of A$22 per annum. These fees are large as compared to the other countries for which licensing statistics are kept. Australia has the fewest number of stations per 1,000 population with about 0.7 stations per thousand population. The corresponding figures for the UK, USA and Japan are 1.1, 2.5 and 10.3 station per thousand population.

  3. Station Licenses Valid One to Five Years

    In both Japan and the U.S. the number of "active" stations is overestimated because expirations occur after 5 and 10 years respectively as compared to the United Kingdom with only a one-year license, where changes are visible more quickly. Licensing terms in Australia lie somewhere in between these examples with muti-year licensing with slightly discounted fees for terms of one to five years.

  4. License Classes

    Unrestricted amateurs have had full HF allocations, Limited licensees only ten meters (29.0-29.7 FM), Novices limited HF allocations on 80, 15 and 10, and Limited Novices VHF/UHF allocations. Unrestricted licensees were required to pass a five minute 10 wpm test with 7 or fewer character errors. Novices passed a five minute 5 wpm test with a maximum of 10 character errors.

  5. Morse Testing Recently Dropped

    On January 1, 2004 Morse requirements were dropped for the Limited and Limited Novice licensees and they were given the same HF privileges as Unrestricted and Novice licensees, respectively. June 2004 licensing data already reflects six months under this new licensing regine. Morse testing continues for the Intermediate and Novice licenses and still gives those stations some call sign uniqueness.

    There are announced plans to merge Unrestricted, Intermediate and Limited classes into a single license class; Novice and Limited Novice into a second; and to create a new entry level license. On 31 May 2004, the ACA issued a media release to announce planned changes:

    • Collapsing the five current amateur licence types into two new licence types and the introduction of an entry-level foundation licence;
    • Removal of restrictions on connection of amateur stations to the public telecommunications network;
    • Developing new interference management arrangements;
    • Content of amateur communications and permission to encode particular transmissions;
    • Amateur callsigns including callsign arrangements during emergency service operations and training;
    • Outsourcing of amateur service administration; and
    • Maximum transmitter output power for amateur stations.

Best 73 de Joe Speroni, AH0A/7J1AAA

By Joe Speroni