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Decision to amend a frequency licence

In the following, Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) provides information about amendments to frequency licences.

Amendments that are taken into consideration in the frequency licence

Nkom will not normally amend an issued frequency licence in such a way that it will be to the detriment of the licensee. However, in some instances it could be necessary to make an amendment to a licence that will be to the detriment of the licensee.

Nkom has therefore included the following conditions in its licences:

  • The frequency licence may be amended, (also to the detriment of the licensee), if the amendment is necessary as a consequence of Norway’s international law obligations. The same applies if the amendment is a necessary consequence of international collaboration on harmonisation of which Norway is a part, amended national legislation or is necessary as a consequence of other important societal considerations. Amending a licence does not give the licensee or other parties the right to compensation from the State.

The two most practical examples of such international law obligations that can arise after a frequency licence has been issued are:

  • The European Commission hands down a binding decision regarding harmonised frequency planning or harmonised frequency use that is included in the annexes to the EEA Agreement and which therefore becomes legally binding for Norway.
  • Norway/Nkom enters into a legally binding coordination agreement with one or more neighbouring countries which has consequences for frequency use within the framework of an existing licence. An example: Within region 1 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Norway has negotiated an agreement with other countries. The negotiating parties enter into a legally binding agreement with the neighbouring countries for frequency planning for high-power transmitters, for example on the 174-240 MHz and 470-790 MHz frequency bands ("TV bands"). If this agreement results in amendments having to be made to frequency licences that have already been issued for Norway to be able to act in accordance with its international law obligations, Nkom will have to hand down a decision to amend the licences that will be affected.

Examples of international harmonisation work that is not legally binding is Norway's involvement with ECC Decisions and ECC Recommendations concerning the use of spectrum (harmonised channel plans, coordination agreements with our neighbouring countries etc.)

Amendments within Section 6-2 of the Electronic Communications Act

A frequency licence can also be amended to the detriment of the licensee if the amendment can be implemented within the framework of Section 6-2, second and sixth paragraphs of the Electronic Communications Act. Such amendments rarely occur in practice.

Nkom's administrative procedures for decisions to amend frequency licences

If Nkom prepares a decision to amend a frequency licence and such an amendment could be to the detriment of the licensee, notice of this will be given in accordance with Section 16 of the Public Administration Act.