Satellite Update for Jan. 18, 2013

From FCC Report SAT-00922, “Satellite Space Applications Accepted for Filing:”

• Intelsat License LLC amended its pending application for authority to launch and operate Intelsat 30 to change the requested location from 95.1 degrees west longitude (WL) to 95.05 degrees WL, remove the request for wavier of Section 25.210(1) of the FCC Rules which requires use of orthogonal linear polarization with one of the planes defined by the equatorial plane, provide technical updates, and to request a waiver of the full frequency reuse require in Section 25.210(f) of the Rules with respect to its C-band payload. The application seeks authority to launch and operate Intelsat 30 and provide fixed satellite service (FSS) using 3400-3700 MHz, 10.98-11.2 GHz, 11.45-11.7 GHz, and 11.7-12.2 GHz (space-to-Earth) and 6425-6675 MHz, 6675-6725 MHz, 13.75-14.0 GHz, and 14.0-14.5 GHz (Earth-to-space).

From FCC Report SAT-00923, “Actions Taken:”

• The FCC International Bureau's Satellite Division granted an application from DirecTV Enterprises LLC to operate DirecTV 1R at 55.8 degrees East Longitude (EL) to provide DBS service in the 12.2-12.5 GHz (space-to-Earth) and 17.3-17.6 GHz (Earth-to-space) frequency bands. Telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) operations are authorized using the center frequencies 17.305 GHz and 17.799 GHz (Earth-to-space); and 12.69825 GHz and 12.69925 GHz (space-to-Earth).

• Intelsat License LLC received special temporary authority (STA) for 60 days to conduct TT&C functions necessary to maintain Intelsat 8 at 169.0 degrees EL using specified Ku-band frequencies and to temporarily provide FSS from Intelsat 8 using 3700-4200 MHz and 12.25-12.75 GHz (space-to-Earth) and 5925-6425 MHz and 14.0-14.5 GHz (Earth-to-space).

United Unveils Sat-Based Internet on Long-Haul Flights

United announced (opens in new tab) it has added satellite Wi-Fi service to a wide-body Boeing 747-400 aircraft serving trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes. It’s using Panasonic Avionics Corporation's Ku-band satellite technology. United says this will provide faster service than other airlines' air-to-ground Internet. Two Airbus 319 aircraft serving domestic routes have also been equipped with satellite Wi-Fi. United plans to complete installation of satellite based Wi-Fi on 300 mainline aircraft by the end of this year.

“Satellite-based Wi-Fi service enables us to better serve our customers and offer them more of what they want in a global airline,” said Jim Compton, United’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. “With this new service, we continue to build the airline that customers want to fly.”

Two service levels will be available: “standard,” going initially for $3.99 to $14.99, depending on the flight duration, and “accelerated,” which is priced initially between $5.99 and $19.99 and offers faster download speeds. United said satellite-based Wi-Fi will be installed on Airbus 319s and 320s, and also on Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft.

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.