Certain frequency bands have been dedicated for satellite use for many decades by the body responsible for managing the radio spectrum the International Telecommunications Union.

Different frequency bands are suitable for different climate conditions, types of service and types of users. Rather than talking about specific radio frequencies, the frequency bands used for satellites are identified by simple letters. Lower frequencies (L-, S- and C-bands) are almost unaffected by heavy rainfall and are therefore critical in those parts of the world that experience such downpours regularly (e.g. Africa, Asia and Latin America).

These lower frequencies are also good at serving large areas of the globe at the same time, providing reliable international connectivity from high rainfall areas to the rest of the world. Higher frequencies (Ku-, Ka- and Q/V -bands) allow smaller antennas to be used and more focused footprints on regions or sub-regional areas.

A satellite is constructed from the outset to transmit via a clearly identified frequency band(s) and this cannot be changed after launch! The table below shows the different satellite bands and their uses. (The table has 7 columns, so you may ned to scroll horizontally on a small device.)








1.467 GHz
to 1.492 GHz

1.518 GHz
to 1.675 GHz

1.97 GHz
to 2.69 GHz

3.4 GHz
to 7.025 GHz

10.7 GHz
to 14.5 GHz

17.3 GHz
to 30 GHz

37.5 GHz
to 51.4 GHz

Satellite Audio Broadcasting to fixed & mobile units

Civilian Mobile-Satellite Services (two-way)

Satellite television & radio broadcasting and mobile BB services including in-flight connectivity

Fixed-Satellite television & data services (including broadcasting)

Fixed-Satellite television & data services (including broadcasting)

Fixed-Satellite television & data services including fixed and mobile two-way broadband services

Fixed and mobile high-speed broadband services including in-flight connectivity


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