Ofcom Gives Green Light to Satellite Uplinks on Planes, Trains and Boats

UK telecom regulator Ofcom announced this week that it should be accepting applications for licensing ship-mounted earth stations by February, 2014 and is working with the Civil Aviation Authority to make licensing for aircraft-mounted devices available within the same time frame.

Regulations covering the exemption from licensing for land-based earth stations on vehicles (trains, for example) are expected to be in force by this summer. Ofcom said the first commercial deployment of the technology on vehicles in the United Kingdom likely to begin later this year.

Satellite earth stations on ships have been permitted in the United States for several years and recently, the licensing of earth stations for use on U.S. aircraft was simplified.

Ofcom said it is working with international telecom authorities to promote use of earth station technology globally.

Additional technical details are available in the Ofcom Statement on the Authorisation of Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms. Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms would be authorized in the 27.5-27.8185 GHz, 28.4545-28.8265 GHz, and 29.4625-30 GHz (transmit) and 17.3-20.2 GHz (receive).

The Consultation on the Authorisation for Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms Web page has to the full consultation, including the UK interface requirements for ESOMPs.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.