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Ku band stands for the electromagnetic spectrum brand lying below K-band. Ku is a symbol which stands for Kurz-unten, German for the band’s location under K band. It’s frequency range spans from 12-18 GHz and over the last two decades, has been primarily used for satellite communications service.
Sample of a Ku band satellite from NewSat
Commercial utilization of the band started in 1983, when NBC first uplinked its affiliated feeds to the Ku spectrum. Since then, the band has been used for a range of satellite applications which included broadcasting services, and even NASA’s own Tracking Data Relay Satellite - an application used by the ISS communications and the Space shuttle.
Aside from broadcasting, Ku band is also used for teleconferences, mobile truck feeds, communications trailers, and even educational program. It’s one of the crucial technologies used to provide remote connectivity in remote regions. Over the last decade, Ku band has also been used for internet from satellite mobile backhauling solutions, especially with the rise of mobile broadband applications.
According to a report by Pike Research and IDirect, satellite technology is becoming the ideal alternative in solving bottlenecks in the backhaul network. The rise of smartphones have also brought an increase in bandwidth-intensive mobile applications and the traditional wireless backhaul systems are now more prone to overload.
Data demands have continually put a strain on networks and the report examined how satellite communications is emerging as a cost-effective solution to the problem. The construction and launch of more powerful birds, including those in the new Ka band coverage, has vastly improved satellite technology and allowed the system to optimize bandwidth better with compromising speed.
The research focused on the smart meters backhaul communications, and Pike Research estimated over 50 million of it will be deployed across North America by the end of the year.
Also, according to the report, the ability of satellite to cover the “last mile” range has made it the reasonable solution for wider geographic reach. Minimal latency issues have also made satellite communications for mobile backhaul comparable to existing mesh technologies.
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