An Insight On Usage Of Ka Or Ku-Bands For Satellite Communications In Africa

Posted by intersat on January 25th, 2021

No matter where in the world one lives currently, imagining life without internet connectivity is not easy for most people today. However, not everyone in the world, there is smooth connectivity provided through fiber optics and other common modern technologies, parts of Africa being among the biggest example. There are many places there where installing fiber optic lines is not feasible, and hence satellite connectivity in Africa forms the backbone of internet connectivity there. Nearly all of Africa’s international bandwidth is provided by satellite. Typically, the system of very small aperture terminal (VSAT) connectivity is used in the continent to provide a seamless internet connection to not only city residents, but also the ones living in more suburban or rural areas there. As per certain reports, VSATs are used for a wide variety of telecommunications applications across Africa, including in corporate networks, rural telecoms, distance learning, telemedicine, disaster recovery, as well as ship-board communications. This has made the job of VSAT Engineer in Africa extremely crucial.

Usage of Ka or Ku-Bands for satellite communications

Usually, Ku or Ka-Band in Africa is used for satellite broadcast communications. They help provide internet users with higher bandwidth, clear audio and visual and faster connection speeds, as well as reliable connectivity they can count on.  The major difference between them is the frequency of each band, which tends to affect the quality of the connection provided by them.  The Ka-band uses frequencies in the 26.5 to 40 GHz range, while on the other hand, frequencies in the 12 to 18 GHz range is used by the Ku-band. You would be able to extract more bandwidth from a Ka-band system with a higher frequency, which invariably means a higher data transfer rate and, and as a result, a higher performance.

The Ku-band is known to have the capacity to cover an entire continent with a single. The Ka-band, however, has a comparatively smaller range, and has to use multiple beams for the purpose of providing a country-wide coverage. This usually is not much of an issue for Ka-band solutions in case the infrastructure of the connectivity provider is adequate enough to cover the area they serve customers in.  The band chosen to deliver internet connectivity to people would depend on the circumstances surrounding its use, such as the size of the area does the connectivity needs to cover and the budget available.  More details about these bands, VSAT C, and so on, can be found on the web.

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