Test & Trial

The MCA operates a test and trial licensing scheme in support of innovative spectrum uses which aims to exploit Malta’s unique potential as a test-bed. In this regard the MCA supports applications submitted by both local and foreign entities, for the grant of licences to carry out tests and trials of wireless systems on a non-commercial basis.

The basis for Test & Trial Licences

Radio frequencies are a medium that permit the transmission of data throughout the airwaves.

From the regulatory standpoint, in general there are two types of radio frequencies:-

  • un licensed frequency bands, which are freely available for use by radio communication devices (e.g. 2.4 GHz band used mostly by Radio LANs); 
  • Licensed frequency bands, which require a licence that permits the right of use for the specific frequency band (eg frequencies used by public mobile networks).

While unlicensed bands may suit for the testing of new applications, at times, the use of licensed frequency bands is essential due to the inherent service quality guarantees. However when considering the obligations tied with such licences, the use of a frequency or set of frequencies to test a new products or services in a real life environment, the licensing mechanism is not fit for such purpose.

The MCA has therefore adopted a Test & Trial Framework, enabling the provisioning licences which are fit and proper for the carriage of tests and trials of wireless systems on a non-commercial basis.

Facilitating technology trials on a nationwide basis

Malta’s geographic location and population density make it the ideal location for the test or trial of wireless technologies, on a nationwide basis.  The island’s political and economic stability has laid fertile ground for business growth and development.  This coupled with a strong and resilient ICT infrastructure make Malta the ideal location to test and trial wireless technologies. Malta also offers a multi-lingual, multi-skilled labour force, with an excellent work ethic, demonstrating flexibility and resiliency making it the ideal location for carrying out pilot studies on the use of wireless technologies.

The availability of spectrum in bands which are generally in high demand makes Malta a microcosm that offers the potential for undertaking tests and trials on wireless technology and its uses on a nationwide basis with minor investment. Such a unique opportunity, couple with the low licence fees permits interested parties to test and/or trial radio equipment or any type of wireless technology, including 5G and IoT, on a nationwide basis with minimum investment. All applications for pilot studies are processed in an open, transparent and non-discriminatory manner.

Taking advantage of the Test & Trial Licences

The MCA offer everyone the means and the possibility to experiment with radio frequencies. For further information on how to take advantage of such a possibility, feel free to drop us an email at spectrum@mca.org.mt and we will guide you accordingly.

In addition, in order to expedite the processing of your request, you may also fill in the necessary application forms providing all the information which you deem necessary. All relevant information enclosed in your application disclosed with the MCA will be considered and treated as highly confidential.

A list of the issued Test and Trial Licences can be found here.

Whether you intend to test innovative idea, proof of concepts or carry out trials on established or new network technologies or applications, the MCA promises you to accompany you and provide the necessary support in order to make your innovative ideas a step closer to a go-to-market solutions.

Updated:- 26.04.2018