What is a frequency licence?

Most of the electronic equipment that communicates wirelessly uses radio frequencies. Which frequencies are used for which services is to a great extent harmonised in Europe and/or internationally. This ensures a larger equipment market, for the benefit of consumers in the form of better selections and lower prices.

A frequency licence is a right of use on specific terms for part of the electromagnetic frequency spectrum. Frequency licences are granted either as individual licences to one user, or as general licences directed at anyone that uses specific equipment or a specific service (free use).

Individual frequencies must be applied for. General licences are granted in regulations in which their use is clearly defined. The general licences are collected in the General Authorisations Regulations. The regulation is revised regularly so as to include new rules and equipment.


Types of individual frequency licences

In general, two types of individual frequency licence are granted:

  • Transmission licence. A transmission licence entitles the holder to use a given part of the frequency spectrum at specific geographical locations. Transmission licences are granted, for example, for radio lines and point-multipoint, PMR and FM local radio.
  • Spectrum licence. A spectrum licence gives the holder the right to use part of the frequency spectrum freely within a given geographical area, often nationally. A spectrum licence is used for mobile communication, so that mobile operators themselves can decide where they want to place their base stations.

How do I apply for a frequency licence?

Anyone can apply for an individual frequency licence for the equipment or service they are to use. An overview of all services and relevant frequency ranges can be found in our national frequency plan. The frequency plan and details of which spectrum licences have been granted are available on the frequency portal

Electronic application forms via Alltinn are available for the most relevant services

For other licences, the application can be sent to firmapost@nkom.no. As a minimum, the applicant must provide the following information:

  1. The applicant's name, address and Norwegian company registration number (the applicant must be registered with the Brønnøysund Register Centre). Private individuals must state their national identity number.
  2. Contact person (name, telephone number and email address).
  3. Overview of what it is being applied for: frequency range, bandwidth/capacity and geographical scope.

How do I change, transfer or terminate an existing frequency licence?

Termination, application for a change, or transfer of a licence must be requested in writing. Electronic forms concerning termination, or application for changes concerning our most relevant services, can be found at Alltinn.

Concerning change or transfer of licences for other services, the holder must send the following information to firmapost@nkom.no :

  1. Licence number of the frequency licence required to be changed or transferred.
  2. The holder’s company name and Norwegian company registration number. On any transfer, the same information must be provided for the party that is to take over the licence. Private individuals must state their name and national identity number.
  3. The application must be signed by a person who is legally authorised to bind the undertaking wishing to change or transfer the licence. In the event of transfer, a person who is legally authorised to bind the undertaking taking over the frequency licence must also sign the Application.

Nkom must also receive prior written notice when important changes are made to a company's ownership composition or organisation.

A change of company name and company registration number without any changes to the company’s ownership composition or ownership structure will not be regarded as transfer.

Frequency licence for testing and trial of new technology (5G)

We want to facilitate testing and trial of new technology as much as possible. On request, we can grant temporary frequency licences for non-commercial purposes. There are normally no costs associated with frequency licences of this type. The development and testing of the next-generation mobile network, 5G, is an example of how such a non-commercial licence can be used.     

Applications for such licences are subject to the same requirements as for ordinary applications, but in addition the technical specifications of the equipment to be used must be attached, together with a description of the project.

Temporary frequency use for events and research campaigns

Operators who are to use frequency resources on a temporary basis may apply for a free licence. Temporary frequency licences are often used for, for example, major sports events, or large media productions in connection with concerts or other events. The same applies to research campaigns and other use that do not fall under the General Authorisations Regulations.

When you apply for temporary frequency use, you must provide sufficient technical specifications for the radio equipment to be used, and where and when you need a temporary licence must be specified. It is important that the scope (geographical extent and timing) is as limited as possible.