We at XTAR have said it before; having frequency band flexibility is key to giving government users the best service for the lowest price. It’s not one size fits all when it comes to bandwidth. Ku-band is a common option, but not always the most effective solution. I know it may sound like a “perfect world” scenario to have antennas equipped with dual, if not tri-band, capabilities in every instance. I also know it would not come without some costs. However, the cost to enable multiple frequencies is often more than offset by the greater cost savings achieved as the result of less bandwidth requirements for the same throughput. Shouldn’t government users, particularly the brave men and women who serve in military organizations, at least have the best available, if not perfect, solution to achieve their missions?
The truth is that not having this flexibility can be a real problem, especially for critical services. It’s like fighting with one hand tied behind your back. Today, I am aware that airborne ISR missions are usually relegated to using Ku-band only. Ready to start their missions, users many times experience difficulty finding available bandwidth in their areas of operation. Then, adding to their struggles, cost is virtually prohibitive. And due to the signal spreading required for small airborne terminals, the amount of capacity needed in Ku-band is at least twice what would necessary in X-band.
XTAR customers (and potential customers!) commonly find themselves in this position, where they have to delay their mission because the needed capacity they thought available was already sold when they were ready to finalize the purchase. This occurs because commercial Ku-band can be sold to all users, government and commercial alike, on a first-come, first-served basis to the buyer who will pay the most for the capacity. When a government user is buying Ku-band, there is much more competition than for a similar X-band capability.
Use of X-band has been gaining momentum as government users realize, usually from a poor experience acquiring other bandwidth, that it is available and easily accessible. X-band is also becoming more recognized for its superior performance particularly in applications where the terminals are super small such airborne ISR. Users are starting to see the efficiency and value. They are impressed with the throughput for the price. But I also know that sometimes literally seeing is believing. Let a live demonstration show you high throughput X-band. So like the Beatles’ “Give peace a chance”, I say “Give X a chance”.