FCC licenses new LEO constellation from Boeing
November 5, 2021
By Chris Forrester
Boeing’s plans for a 147-fleet of V-band low Earth orbiting satellites have been given approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The FCC says its licence covers Boeing’s plans for a broadband and communications services for residential, commercial, institutional, governmental, and professional users in the US and globally.
“Advanced satellite broadband services have an important role to play in connecting hard-to-serve communities,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “We are committed to a careful and detailed review of all such applications and I thank the International Bureau team for their work completing this first round of NGSO applications.”
The FCC Order approves Boeing’s application for non-geostationary orbit fixed-satellite service system using frequencies in portions of the V-band (the 37.5-40, 40-42, 47.2-50.2 and 50.4-51.4 GHz bands), and to operate inter-satellite links (ISLs) using frequencies in portions of the V-band (65-71 GHz band). It also dismisses Boeing’s request to operate ISLs in certain frequency bands that are not allocated internationally for operations of the Fixed-satellite service in the space-to-space direction in the ITU Radio Regulations.
The V-band Constellation will consist of 132 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites in a circular orbit at an altitude of 1056 km and 15 highly inclined NGSO satellites at an altitude between 27,355 and 44,221 km.
In approving the Boeing scheme the FCC has rejected various objections from the likes of SpaceX and others.
Boeing now has 6 years to launch at least 50 per cent of the fleet.