Ka-band vs Ku-band –
Everything you need to know

What are high-throughput satellites (HTS)?

HTS Satellites are communication satellites that with particularly high data throughput. By employing powerful and focused spot beams instead of wide beams, HTS satellites achieve a 10 to 100 times higher throughput (up to 100 Gbit/s) compared to conventional satellites.

The High throughput satellite supports a wide range of customers who have varying use case requirements as well as their actual deployment locations place.

For example:

High throughput connectivity for corporates and consumers: in areas where high quality broadband through the terrestrial infrastructure is not available, satellite technology is the most appropriate solution for providing high bitrates.

Basic connectivity in remote areas: in remote areas not served with terrestrial infrastructure, satellites are the only solution for providing connectivity.

Connectivity in schools in Sub-Saharan Africa and Cellular backhaul: providing high capacity links to support otherwise isolated base stations of terrestrial networks.

Resilient connections: providing high capacity and resilience network links for industries (media, banking, lotteries, etc) with distributed sites and bespoke security requirement

HTS systems use several spot beams to cover the desired service area.

Above: KA-SAT Coverage over Europe

What’s the difference between Ka-band and Ku-band?

One major difference is the frequency of each band, which affects the quality of the connection provided. Ku-band uses frequencies in the 12 to 18 GHz range, while Ka-band uses frequencies in the 26.5 to 40 GHz range.

With a higher frequency, you can extract more bandwidth from a Ka-band system, which means a higher data transfer rate and, therefore higher performance at a lower cost

Ka-band Ku-band
Availability High High
Bits per Hz (efficiency) High Medium (similar efficiency requires larger VSAT)
Throughput (speed) High Comparatively low
Antenna / Equipment cost Low High
Antenna size Max 1.2m (mostly <1m) 1.2m +

How do Avanti Ka-band work, compared to traditional old Ku-band satellites?

Below are some of the key Benefits of using Avanti Ka-band technology:

Focused power

HTS Ka-band beams are much more focused, resulting in high powered spot beams lit over specific regions. Much higher throughput can be achieved using the same amount of bandwidth, driving down the cost of the spectrum and the cost per bit. Ka-band spot beams often have 10 times more capacity than traditional Ku-band & C-Band satellites.

Frequency reuse

Avanti HTS systems use spot beam architectures that support large-scale frequency reuse to deliver more capacity and higher data rates, which is particularly attractive for communications applications such as internet access, enterprise networks and backhaul.

Antenna size

The gain of a dish antenna is proportional to the frequency being used. At the high frequencies of Ka-band, you can use a smaller dish to get an equivalent power output up to the satellite. This implies that RF amplification requirements are reduced considerably too.

High throughput capability

One of the key differences is the frequency band, which directly impacts the quality of the connections and end user applications. Ka Band HTS gives up to 10 times more capacity at a very low cost as compared to traditional Ku Satellites.


One of the most vital factors when considering a satellite operator is whether they can upscale to long- term demands from multiple large-scale projects. Avanti’s Ka-band technology means that our customers can meet unprecedented amounts of bandwidth across our coverage.

Ease of deployment

The equipment for Ka-band being smaller, it is much quicker to deploy and easy to install. Avanti provides a comprehensive training programme for its customers.