How to Choose Between C-Band and KU-Band

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Choosing C-Band or KU-Band Frequency

Our clients come to us because they need Internet connections or reliable telephone service; some clients need both. When we understand the type of service, the speed and volume that they want, we sell them a package most often called a VSAT. The correct selection of this equipment and the purchase of bandwidth (space segment) depends upon the type of use that it will be put to and the location of their remote site.

The major Satellite operators, companies like SES, Intelsat, Eutelsat and Telesat Canada provide two common types of commercial frequency to choose from. Our clients choose from either C-Band or KU-Band service. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Ku band provides very high frequency transmissions well suited to TV transmission or credit card validation applications. C band a lower range frequency better suited to voice and ISP needs.

Ku band normally has much higher signal strength in areas of spot beams; this means that a signal can be received on much smaller dishes (antennas). Antennas of 1m diameter are often used for Ku transmissions. The downside to Ku is that bad weather can cut off the transmission, leaving your clients without service until the rain passes.

In the wet tropical regions our clients all use C-Band because C-Band is much less subject to rain fade; the downside is that is does require a larger antenna. Our smallest C-Band systems use a 2.4m antenna, but many of our clients chose a larger 3.8m antenna in order to allow for future growth.

One of the most important decisions when planning a VSAT installation is the choice of dish size, if the dish is too small the client may have to pay a penalty in higher monthly bandwidth costs.

In most cases we recommend that the VSAT installation be carried out by somebody with prior experience. Some clients have taken months when doing it themselves. Although it is not technically challenging very few have the patience to carefully find the satellite and correctly align the antenna.

For additional reading we have prepared separate pages covering a range of topics:

C-Band Antenna

C-Band Antenna

KU Band Antenna

KU Band Antenna

KU Band FlyAway

KU Band FlyAway

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