EchoStar Launches Ka-Band Bird

EchoStar is set to rocket into orbit again with EchoStar IX, the first-ever commercial spot-beam Ka-band satellite to serve the United States, the company said. The Ka-band portion of the satellite will be used to deliver services EchoStar describes as "future broadband initiatives." The payload also includes Ku-band
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EchoStar is set to rocket into orbit again with EchoStar IX, the first-ever commercial spot-beam Ka-band satellite to serve the United States, the company said.

The Ka-band portion of the satellite will be used to deliver services EchoStar describes as "future broadband initiatives." The payload also includes Ku-band fixed satellite services (FSS) transponders that will enhance EchoStar's current Dish Network satellite TV service.

Ka-band technology has been praised by its advocates as allowing more local-into-local television and advanced services than conventional satellite.

The ocean launch was scheduled for late Aug. 7. The satellite will operate at the 121 degree West Longitude orbital location.