Electromagnetic Spectrum

Another serious concern is interference, always a thorny issue for radio communication. The issue is the matter of frequency. Interference occurs when two different transmissions are made in the same geographic area at the same frequency. Such transmissions may lead to deterioration or even loss of signals. To coordinate a large number of users in a certain geographic area, communication systems are required to use different frequencies to avoid interference.

The interference problem arises both as a matter of physics and a matter of economics. Some frequencies simply cannot penetrate the layers of the Earth's atmosphere or magnetic field, making them unsuitable for a space-based relay system. Other frequencies, despite their technical availability, have been set aside for conducting astronomical research [20]. Moreover, unlike many other services that can reallocate the same frequency in other regions due to their limited power and geographic coverage, geostationary communications can hardly reuse the same frequency by the very nature of its broad coverage and high power. In addition, the demand for communications services increases at a rapid rate. Terrestrial communications and broadcast services, space based services unrelated to geostationary communications, as well as mobile satellite services have taken up wide swaths of the spectrum and even made inroads into frequencies previously set aside for geosynchronous systems. Competition for the allocation of frequencies among various users limits the ability of services to expand greatly through the acquisition of additional spectra. The fixed communications satellite services are limited to three frequency bands: the C band, Ku band, and Ka band [21]. Despite the physical and economical limitations of geostationary satellite systems, demand for them continues to grow, a fact bringing about the need of spacefaring nations to negotiate for use of an increasingly insufficient resource in space.

Negotiating Essentials

Negotiating Essentials

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