Amended Rules for Deployment of Earth Stations and Satellite Systems

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States amends rules for facilitating the deployment of earth stations in motion (ESIMs) communicating with geostationary (GSO) fixed-satellite service (FSS) satellite systems.

47 CFR Parts 2 and 25

The changes are summarized as follows:

1. Reorganize and consolidate the sections in part 25, including technical and operational as well as application rules, for the three types of Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) earth stations that are authorized to transmit while in motion:

  • Earth Stations on Vessels (ESVs)
  • Vehicle-Mounted Earth Stations (VMESs)
  • Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAAs)

These three types of FSS earth stations are collectively known as ESIMs.

2. Amend of rules to allow the operation of ESIMs in the conventional Ka-band.

Specifically, these rules apply to ESIMs communicating with geostationary-orbit (GSO) FSS space stations operating in the following frequency bands:

  • 18.3–18.8 GHz and 19.7–20.2 GHz (space-to-Earth)
  • 28.35–28.6 GHz and 29.25–30.0 GHz (Earth-to-space)

The new rules aim to create regulatory equity by adopting a regulatory scheme for ESIM operations in the conventional Ka-band similar to that which currently exists in the conventional C-band, the conventional Ku-band, and in portions of the extended Ku-band.

This final ruling is effective as of October 8, 2019.

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