While the majority of Satellite data communication links still operate in Ku-Band there has been a growing adoption of Ka-Band satellites as well in the maritime world.

While the original concerns of rain fade and pointing accuracy did prevent the fast adoption of Ka-Band in maritime satellite communication it has now evolved and several Operators now offer Ka-Band VSAT service.

Ka-Band (27-40 GHz)


  • Higher speeds
  • Operates with a smaller satellite dish (diameters from 0.6m) -> cheaper and more easy installation


  • When high frequencies are transmitted and received in a heavy rain fall area, noticeable signal degradation occurs and is proportional to the amount of rain fall.
  • Downlink: Rain dissipates 3 to 10 times more energy at Ka-band than at Ku-band (11 GHz vs. 20 GHz)
  • Uplink: Rain dissipates 63 to 400 times more energy at Ka-band than at Ku-band (14 GHz vs. 30 GHz)
  • Ka-band is not available everywhere

The two most prominent offerings are Inmarsat Fleet Xpress  which includes Fleetbroadband backup to cover for the gaps in the global Ka-Band coverage, and Telenor Thor 7 service which covers Iceland to the Middle East and offers speeds up to 40Mbps down.

There are several Antenna Manufacturers offering antennas fit for either platforms.  Models are availbale from Cobham Sailor, Intellian and KNS (expected).