As in most areas of technology, there is always a debate as to which technology is superior. This is certainly the case for satellite communications which may operate on different frequencies, the Ku-band or the Ka-band.
There are several different advantages to Ku-band satellite services that are worthwhile considering for any business. As with most technology, Ka or Ku-band may be both be possible and acceptable, so it may be the slight differences and details that will tip the scales.
When considering the information from the top Ka-band satellite services, there are several points that will stand out to businesses of all sizes. Keep in mind that the Ku-band operates in the 12-18 GHz frequency range while Ka-band is in the 26.5 -40 GHz range. It is easy to remember the lower or higher frequencies as Ku stands for Kurz-unter, in German, which can be translated to “under the K band.” The Ka stands for K-above, which is the frequency higher than the K-band.
Coverage of Ku and Ka-Band
Ku-band is used for fixed and broadcast satellite communication systems. It is able to transmit data over vast areas, largely due to the wide deployment of satellites operating in this band.
The Ka-band technology, which can be used for similar types of applications, is less widespread. This translates into limited areas of coverage based on the satellites in use. The coverage is also not continuous, which makes it ineffective for shipping and multi-national types of communication requirements.
The issue with rain fade, or the loss of signal in rain, snow, ice, fog, and combinations of wet weather, is much more significant with the Ka-band systems. Rain, snow and ice crystals in the air can absorb high-frequency signals, which is why this is of particular concern with the Ka-band.
Lower equipment costs, satellite redundancies in the event of failure, and the proven reliability of the Ku-band for global coverage makes this the better option for satellite communication systems today.