European Space Agency

UHF Broadcasting Satellite Regulatory Study


The project aims to perform the necessary studies to secure the allocation to BSS (Broadcasting Satellite Service) in the UHF band (620-790 MHz) in the ITU Radio Regulations.

These objectives include active participation and contribution to regulatory meetings especially the World Radio Conference in June 2003 and all the preparatory meetings in relation with this Conference.

To fulfil these objectives, technical studies have to be performed to firm up the existing allocation to BSS in the UHF band.


On the regulatory side, the World Radio Conference (WRC-03) does not give a definitive conclusion on that subject as the studies conducted within ITU and the CEPT before the Conference were not finished and there were no clear conclusions to clarify the technical and regulatory situation in the 620-790 MHz band.

It should be noted that due to the replanification of the terrestrial broadcast band in 2005 (RRC04-05), this is a very sensitive subject for the terrestrial broadcast community.

The 2003 Conference thus decided to continue the studies on that matter until next Conference in 2007. During the interim period the band is frozen (no new applications by BSS can be made in this band) until WRC-07 decision.

From the technical analysis undertaken during the frame of the project, it should be underlined that in terms of system complexity, this envisaged BSS system is a challenging one:

  • There is a need for a complex modulation scheme to be able to cope with the particularly hostile interfering environment coming from the terrestrial television emitters,

  • This implies some question marks on the terminal in terms of: portability, power consumption, complexity and affordability targets,

The spacecraft is also a complex one requiring very high power and dissipation capabilities at the limit of current platform capabilities.


The main benefit of this project was to obtain from the 2003 World Radio Conference to continue the studies on that matter without accepting provisional pfd limits, which were not based on consistent studies.

However, a new and long cycle of studies is starting at the CEPT and ITU level. Several sharing studies are to be conducted within ITU-R working parties (WP6E, WP6S, WP7D, WP 9D and WP 8A).

Furthermore, decisions that will be taken at the Regional Radiocommunication Conference in 2004, which will replanify the 470-890 MHz band, may also impact the feasibility of the BSS system in this band.


The proposed system concept uses two different types of constellations to efficiently cover different part of the earth:

  • to cover average to high latitudes countries, the use of a HEO constellation is proposed

  • to cover lower latitude countries, the use of GSO systems is envisaged.

The figure at right summarises the overall system architecture

click for larger image


The purpose of the study was to participate and contribute to regulatory meetings in order to defend the BSS allocation.

However, some technical studies have also been performed during the frame of the project to support the regulatory activities, in particular by assessing the feasibility and performances of a Broadcasting Satellite System towards mobile terminals operating in the 620-790 MHz band.

The study was split into three main tasks with close interactions:

  • WP 1000: Interference Analysis

  • WP 2000: System Definition

  • WP 3000: Regulatory Activity

Interference Analysis:
A detail analysis of the interfering environment was first performed to confirm:

  • on the one hand, that the proposed concept of broadcasting towards mobile in UHF bands does not impact on existing and future terrestrial services operating in the same frequency band (essentially the Terrestrial Broadcast Service) or in neighbouring frequency bands (e.g. Radio Astronomy)

  • and on the other hand, to assess if the proposed concept is compatible with the interferences caused by existing terrestrial broadcasting services because from a political and regulatory viewpoint, satellite systems using the UHF band can not request protection from existing analogue terrestrial TV systems and developing digital systems (DVB-T in Europe).

System Definition
The system definition task aimed at consolidating the network and system baseline architecture, the communication system parameters and associated end-to-end-performances, based on a rough assessment of sub-systems performances and interfering environment.

Two basic system alternatives have been analysed: a HEO case and a GEO case.

Regulatory Activities
The regulatory and standardisation activity was focused on an active participation and contribution to the different meetings dealing with the

Current status

The study was kicked off on 26 March, 2003.

The technical activities have been completed in January 2004.

Status date

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 13:15