UK Telecom Regulator Bets on Satellite Broadband for Future Connectivity

Starlink, owned by Elon Musk, and Telesat, a newcomer to the UK market, have each been given new earth station licences to expand their operations. Ofcom has praised their capacity to serve more households and businesses across the nation.

Highlights

  • Satellite communication is now available on land, in the air, and at sea thanks to Ofcom's opening of the 14.25 GHz–14.5 GHz spectrum.
  • Satellite-based broadband is finally developing a solid reputation as a viable option for people living in remote or challenging places.
  • To provide improved connection, it highlights the importance of NGSO satellite systems, which include the quickly expanding LEO sector.

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Ofcom

By announcing a new space policy that includes the provision of more spectrum for satellite services, Ofcom, the UK telecom regulator, is supporting satellites to help offer internet to hard-to-reach locations. It's excellent news for the increasing number of low-earth orbit (LEO) operators who are looking to space to provide high-speed broadband that the UK telecoms regulator has quadrupled the amount of spectrum that is available for satellite services in the Ku band.

Further Details Regarding the Internet Services

Two of those businesses, Starlink, owned by Elon Musk, and Telesat, a newcomer to the UK market, have each been given new earth station licences to expand their operations. Ofcom has praised its capacity to serve more households and businesses across the nation. In addition to protecting earth observation satellites, the regulator's broader space strategy focuses on assisting with the launch of new satellites and upcoming lunar and Martian expeditions. But at this time, expanding broadband access is the main area of actual activity.

Satellite communication is now available on land, in the air, and at sea thanks to Ofcom's opening of the 14.25 GHz–14.5 GHz spectrum. Until recently, only satellites in geostationary orbit (GSO) and those outside of a GSO were allowed to operate in the 14 GHz–14.25 GHz band. As per the authority, satellite operators can now either apply for a new licence or ask to have current licences extended to cover the increased range.

In order to provide improved connection, it highlights the importance of NGSO satellite systems, which include the quickly expanding LEO sector. In fact, satellite-based broadband is finally developing a solid reputation as a viable option for people living in remote or challenging places thanks to the characteristics of those systems, such as fast speeds, responsiveness, and low latency. Starlink, which launched hundreds of LEO satellites into orbit in an effort to provide worldwide coverage, has garnered the majority of media attention in recent years, but there are many more companies on a similar course.

With the help of six new licences from Ofcom for NGSO gateway earth stations, Starlink, whose satellite-based internet service has been offered in the UK for about a year, is now able to broaden its reach to additional homes and businesses. Three of these earth stations are now being run by it. The authority added that it had also granted permission to Telesat's request for an earth station network licence for its Lightspeed satellite constellation. As a result, the company will be allowed to introduce services for the first time in the UK. As of right now, they don't know when it will introduce services to the market, but it's very obvious that the UK satellite broadband business is booming.

As per David Willis, Spectrum Group Director at Ofcom, in a statement released along with the regulator's space policy announcement, satellite technology enables faster and more dependable internet services for those living in distant places, as well as for planes and ships. Today represents one modest step in their efforts to ensure that everyone can profit from these enormous advances in innovation, according to Willis.

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