UK SPF: Cluster 1 - Spectrum demand for next generation satellites

UK SPF Cluster 1: Spectrum demand for next generation satellites

Took place on Tuesday 6 October between 10:00-12:00 BST


This workshop invited speakers to give their views on 'spectrum demand for next generation satellites'.

Over 65 people registered for the session which took place over Microsoft Teams under Chatham House rule. The session covered a range of topics, below are just a few of the takeaways. If you attended and have further thoughts please get in touch.

Short summary

It was generally agreed that the satellite technology industry is growing, there has been a significant increase in small satellite launches since the early 2010s, and many expect this level of growth to not only continue but to increase.

Some of the speakers explored how satellite technology is being integrated with 5G and other networks. It was posed that there is increasing convergence between satellite and terrestrial networks, there are more and more use cases and growth in existing markets.

The satellite industry faces many challenges including costs, timescales (it's not easy or quick to deploy), and spectrum - the last time new spectrum for satellites was identified was several years ago. Some argue that you can do quite a bit with the current allocation though many players say that the industry needs more spectrum soon - there are WRC agenda items on this and several industry players have identified potential bands.

Several attendees posed that innovation in the field of satellites and connectivity isn't always entirely compatible with the regulatory environment. For example, there are millions of unconnected people around the world but there are barriers to connecting them, via satellite or otherwise. One speaker said that if you go away from the urban environment, the problem is not lack of spectrum, but lack of digital infrastructure - so where satellite could be providing capability. Technologies that allow us to use satellite spectrum in those areas need developing but you need the right regulatory and policy environment to do this.

The Chair wrapped up the interesting workshop noting that while the session covered a great deal of topics it 'only' covered connectivity and which leads other related topics such as satellite navigation and positioning. These may be workshops in the near future so keep in touch.

Speakers at the event:

  • (Chair) Saul Friedner, UK SPF Cluster 1 and LS Telcom
  • Mike Willis, UK Space Agency
  • Aarti Holla, ESOA
  • Tony Azzarelli, Azzurra Telecom
  • Philippe Secher, OneWeb
  • Paul Febvre, Satellite Applications Catapult


  • Jo O'Riordan

    Jo O'Riordan

    Head of Spectrum Policy and Telecoms
    T 020 7331 2191
201006_UK SPF Cluster 1 (pdf)201006_UK SPF Cluster 1_small satellite spectrum - tony... (pdf)201006_UKSPF_ESOA (pdf)201006_UKSPF_OneWeb (pdf)201006_UKSPF_SA catapult (pdf)201006_UKSPF_UK Space Agency (pdf)

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