Tags: Ka vs. Ku

The Ka-bandwagon

Posted on Thursday, February 12

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Earlier this week Norsat announced that we have shipped a prototype of our new ATOM 25W Ka-band BUC to a key defense customer. One of the comments in the announcement was that Ka-band communications offer higher throughput than Ku-band. NSR predicts that in global government and military and satellite communications the CAGR for spending on Ka-band will outpace that of Ku-band by over 15%. Does this mean that Ka-band is the better band? Not necessarily.

Ka-band does provide some significant advantages. End users benefit from the lighter weight of smaller aperture antennas. Higher throughput enables today’s bandwidth intensive applications. Providers are able to exploit opportunities for frequency reuse due to smaller beams, but there are some disadvantages too. Ka-band is more susceptible to rain fade, and changing out existing Ku-band equipment is costly. It is also worth remembering that Ku-band has its advantages too. Ku-band’s wide beams are able to provide broader geographic coverage, and the relative maturity of the market makes for lower equipment costs.

So, should you be jumping on the Ka-bandwagon? It really depends on your individual needs. Both Ka-band and Ku-band can be part of an overall communications strategy, and fortunately the ATOM line of BUCs and SSPAs is available for both!

For more information on Norsat’s ATOM BUCs visit http://www.norsat.com/solutions/norsat-microwave-products/atom-series/ or contact sales.

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