News from the High-Throughput Satellites London Roundtable | Terminal Maker Sees Ka-band Sales Boom

by

LONDON — Satellite Earth station antenna builder C-Com has seen such a quick adoption of Ka-band for mobile applications including satellite newsgathering, emergency services and telemedicine worldwide that Ka-band could be a majority of the company’s business within five years, a C-Com official said Dec. 5.

Drew Klein, international business development director for Canada-based C-Com, said the company sold the first of its iNetVu antennas around 2012. It expects to sell 200 of them in 2013 and around 600 in 2014, Klein said during the High-Throughput Satellites London Roundtable conference, organized by the Global VSAT Forum advocacy group.

Klein said that while Ka-band today represents just 10-15 percent of the company’s total antenna revenue, it will surpass the combined Ku- and C-band sales revenue within about five years.

C-Com’s recent sales record suggests the forecasted takeoff of Ka-band applications beyond consumer broadband may be imminent as professional users get accustomed to what until recently was a section of the radio spectrum that worried professional users because the signals are more susceptible than Ku-band to attenuation in rain. Network operators have learned to minimize the issue by placing gateway Earth stations far enough apart so that if one is in a region of heavy rain, the traffic can be routed to a backup gateway that is not facing the same weather conditions.

C-Com sells mobile antennas for Carlsbad, Calif.-based ViaSat Inc.’s Exede Ka-band broadband service. Their attraction is their small size, meaning news teams or emergency-response teams can get to remote areas with smaller vehicles.

C-Com also sells terminals for use with Paris-based Eutelsat’s Tooway Ka-band service, and with the YahLink service provided by Yahsat of the United Arab Emirates, which operates a Ka-band satellite system for civil, commercial and military use.