The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) says that its studies show that satellite-based Ka-band is much more robust and less affected by tropical rain-fade than previously anticipated. The ITU’s studies remove a significant issue which has seen satellite operators and telcos favouring Ka-band, and its ‘spot beam’ technology over more conventional C-band and Ku-band spectrum (at 28 GHz).
However, the ITU’s head of its space services department, Alexandre Vallet, speaking in Paris on October 16, also outlined how the growing demands from 5G operators around the world would be reflected in the future.
He said that future 5G deployment would use three sets of frequencies. The 700 MHz band, which has no rain fade issues; the (currently hotly-debated) C-band spectrum around 3.4 GHz, and the Ka-band spectrum already mentioned.
He explained that few knew that DirecTV in the US, for example, used Ka-band for its DTH services with very few problems.
“The service-availability data on Ka-band, even in tropical regions, shows better performance than was forecast by the models,” Vallet said. “This is an important point. And it will surely improve with deployment of satellite sites,” according to Peter de Selding in Space Intel Report.
However, his statement could result in wider adoption of C-band for 5G but also pose a threat to the considerable investment underway – and planned – for Ka-band by satellite operators.