Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka

Frequency Licensing

Licence is a unilateral grant of permission to operate  a radio communication equipment or operate a radio communication, and should not be regarded as a contract or bilateral agreement. The use of radio equipment requires a license after payment of appropriate fee unless the user category has been exempted from licensing under the section 22(2)(b) of the Act.

Licensing processes and conditions are developed so as to enable the economic potential of the radio spectrum to be harnessed to the fullest extent possible.

Application Procedure for Issuance of Radio Communication Licence

The process of applying for a radio communication licence is listed below:

  1. Applications for a   radio spectrum license shall be made using the appropriate Application Form together with supporting documents. All applications should be accompanied with payment of the appropriate license fee as outlined in the Schedule of Spectrum Fees.
  2. The TRCSL will acknowledge in writing, receipt of the application.
  3. The required use should be matched with the radio communication services as stipulated in national frequency allocations table of Sri Lanka.
  4. Application is assessed against the National Frequency Allocation Table (NFAT) to ensure compliance with relevant ITU regulation and recommendations.
  5. A Technical evaluation is carried out to ensure   applicant satisfies the required eligibility criteria regarding compliance with the required technical parameters and to ascertain requested frequency assignment does not interfere with the frequency assignments already made nationally. Site inspections will be carried out if deemed necessary.
  6. In some cases it may be necessary for TRCSL to follow international frequency coordination and registration procedures particularly where there is a potential  to  cause/prawn interference  to/from another administration. In such cases the applications will be kept pending until such time an agreement is made with the neighbouring administrations.
  7. On completion of the assessment, TRCSL will grant its approval for issuance of license or reject the application stating why the application has been rejected. The reasons for the denial of a license will be made known to the applicant upon request.

Responsibilities of Licensees

Licensees are responsible to ensure that:

  • operation of the equipment is within the conditions  of the license.
  • any change of location or change of technical parameters is notified to TRCSL promptly.
  • radio equipment meets the applicable Type Approval requirements for Radio Telecommunication Terminal Equipment type approval Rules.
  • equipment is correctly maintained in order to meet the type approval rules  and the license conditions.
  • the maintenance of the equipment  is up to and  maintenance record should  be made available to TRCSL  for inspection on request.
  • relevant technical  staff of the licensee are trained to be competent to perform  their duties.
  • apply for a license renewal at least one month prior to the date of renewal. 

Features of Radio Communication Licenses

  • Radio spectrum licenses will normally be issued for a period one year.
  • The licenses issued will include the front signed page with the details of the licensee, category of the license and technical parameters such as assigned frequencies; transmit power, band width, and polarisation etc. of the station.
  • Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of a license will lead to   revoke the license
  • License places some technological restrictions on the operation of radio stations and the use of assigned frequencies to prevent harmful interference. These restrictions may be placed on the licenses in terms of the location, power and geographic coverage of the specified equipment. Any deviation by the licensee from these conditions is a breach of the license.
  • If a license needs to be revoked (withdrawal of frequencies) for the purposes of changes to the radio spectrum policy or to meet changed national/ international requirements, then due notice is provided to the licensee to relinquish the spectrum assigned. In recognition of investments made by licensee to procure the equipment and the time taken to acquire alternative communications facilities, TRCSL will provide a notice period of 2-4 years for vacation.

License Fee

The activities of each licensee impose direct costs on the regulator. These include the costs of issuing, maintaining data, spectrum monitoring and enforcing its individual licenses. Some costs will be common to a band or to a radio service (such as band planning); whereas others will be common to a group of  bands and some, such as management overheads, will straddle all licensees.

Licence fees, reflect the opportunity cost of spectrum access  in addition to the costs of spectrum management. The existing licence fees schedule will be reviewed periodically in order to set fees which provide incentives for efficient spectrum use.