Advanced Television

FCC approves 7,500 Starlinks with E-band

March 11, 2024

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a SpaceX request to fit 7,500 of its satellites with E-band frequencies.

The 7,500 are not extra satellites but are within the wider deployment of planned Starlink ‘Gen-2’ craft. SpaceX proposes to operate in the E-band for communications between satellites and gateway earth stations.

The FCC order states: “Specifically, our grant here is limited to authorizing SpaceX to conduct communications in the 71.0-76.0 GHz (space to-Earth) and 81.0-86.0 GHz (Earth-to-space) frequency bands (collectively, E-band), with the 7,500 Gen2 Starlink satellites that the Commission previously authorized in the first partial grant of this application. This Order does not authorize SpaceX to construct, deploy, or operate any additional satellites beyond those authorised to date.”

The FCC added: “We continue to defer consideration of the remainder of SpaceX’s request, including SpaceX’s ongoing use of emergency beacons, which is the subject of a second amendment to SpaceX’s application, as well as the remaining 22,488 satellites SpaceX proposed in its application.”

SpaceX has filing applications with the FCC for 29,988 additional satellites operating in various orbits between 340km-614km altitude.

SpaceX is obliged to launch 50 per cent of these ‘Gen-2’ satellites by December 1st 2028, and the balance by December 1st 2031.

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