L band

Last updated
IEEE L band
Frequency range
1 – 2 GHz
Wavelength range
30 – 15 cm
Related bands

The L band is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) designation for the range of frequencies in the radio spectrum from 1 to 2 gigahertz (GHz).

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers scholarly society, publisher and standards organization, headquartered in US

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey. It was formed in 1963 from the amalgamation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers.

Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time. It is also referred to as temporal frequency, which emphasizes the contrast to spatial frequency and angular frequency. The period is the duration of time of one cycle in a repeating event, so the period is the reciprocal of the frequency. For example: if a newborn baby's heart beats at a frequency of 120 times a minute, its period—the time interval between beats—is half a second. Frequency is an important parameter used in science and engineering to specify the rate of oscillatory and vibratory phenomena, such as mechanical vibrations, audio signals (sound), radio waves, and light.

Radio spectrum part of the electromagnetic spectrum from 3 Hz to 3000 GHz (3 THz)

The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with frequencies from 30 hertz to 300 GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called radio waves, are widely used in modern technology, particularly in telecommunication. To prevent interference between different users, the generation and transmission of radio waves is strictly regulated by national laws, coordinated by an international body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).



Mobile service

In Europe, the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC) of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) has harmonized part of the L band (1452–1492 MHz), allowing individual countries to adopt this spectrum for terrestrial mobile/fixed communications networks supplemental downlink (MFCN SDL). By means of carrier aggregation, an LTE-Advanced or UMTS/HSDPA base station could use this spectrum to provide additional bandwidth for communications from the base station to the mobile device; i.e., in the downlink direction. [1]

The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) was established on June 26, 1959, as a coordinating body for European state telecommunications and postal organizations. The acronym comes from the French version of its name Conférence européenne des administrations des postes et des télécommunications.

Satellite navigation

The Global Positioning System carriers are in the L band, centered at 1176.45 MHz (L5), 1227.60 MHz (L2), 1381.05 MHz (L3), and 1575.42 MHz (L1) frequencies. L band waves are used for GPS units because they are able to penetrate clouds, fog, rain, storms, and vegetation. Only dense environments such as heavy forest canopies or concrete buildings can cause GPS units to receive data inaccurately. [2]

Global Positioning System American satellite navigation system

The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally NAVSTAR GPS, is a satellite-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Air Force. It is a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) that provides geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. Obstacles such as mountains and buildings block the relatively weak GPS signals.

The Galileo Navigation System, the GLONASS System, and the BeiDou system uses the L band similar to GPS, although the frequency ranges are named differently. Modern receivers, such as those found in smartphones, are able to take advantage of multiple systems (usually only around the oldest L1 band) at the same time. [3]

GLONASS Russian satellite navigation system

GLONASS, or "GLObal NAvigation Satellite System", is a space-based satellite navigation system operating as part of a radionavigation-satellite service. It provides an alternative to GPS and is the second navigational system in operation with global coverage and of comparable precision.

BeiDou Chinese Satellite Navigation System

The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) is a Chinese satellite navigation system. It consists of two separate satellite constellations. The first BeiDou system, officially called the BeiDou Satellite Navigation Experimental System and also known as BeiDou-1, consists of three satellites which since 2000 has offered limited coverage and navigation services, mainly for users in China and neighboring regions. Beidou-1 was decommissioned at the end of 2012.

Smartphone Multi-purpose mobile device

Smartphones are a class of mobile phones and of multi-purpose mobile computing devices. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities and extensive mobile operating systems, which facilitate wider software, internet, and multimedia functionality, alongside core phone functions such as voice calls and text messaging. Smartphones typically include various sensors that can be leveraged by their software, such as a magnetometer, proximity sensors, barometer, gyroscope and accelerometer, and support wireless communications protocols such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and satellite navigation.

Telecommunications use

Mobile phones operate at 800–900 and 1700–2100 MHz. Iridium Communications satellite phones use frequencies between 1616 and 1626.5 MHz [4] to communicate with the satellites. Inmarsat and LightSquared terminals use frequencies between 1525 and 1646.5 MHz. Thuraya satellite phones use frequencies between 1525 and 1661 MHz.

Iridium Communications Inc. is a publicly traded American company headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Iridium operates the Iridium satellite constellation, a system of 66 active satellites used for worldwide voice and data communication from hand-held satellite phones and other transceiver units. The Iridium network covers the whole Earth, including poles, oceans and airways, with 66 satellites, with the remaining 9 acting as active backups, for a total of 75 launched as part of their new constellation. 6 remain on the ground as spares for a total of 81 built.

Inmarsat company

Inmarsat plc is a British satellite telecommunications company, offering global mobile services. It provides telephone and data services to users worldwide, via portable or mobile terminals which communicate with ground stations through thirteen geostationary telecommunications satellites. Inmarsat's network provides communications services to a range of governments, aid agencies, media outlets and businesses with a need to communicate in remote regions or where there is no reliable terrestrial network. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Thuraya is a United Arab Emirates-based regional mobile-satellite service (MSS) provider. The company operates two geosynchronous satellites and provides telecommunications coverage in more than 161 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia. Thuraya’s L-band network delivers voice and data services

Aircraft surveillance

The aircraft L-band ranges from 960–1215 MHz. Aircraft can use Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) equipment at 1090 MHz to communicate position information to the ground as well as between them for traffic information and avoidance. The 1090 MHz frequency (paired with 1030 MHz) is also used by Mode S transponders, which ADS-B augments when operated at this frequency. The TCAS system also utilizes the 1030/1090 MHz paired frequencies. ADS-B information can also be broadcast on the L band frequency of 978 MHz. DME and TACAN systems are also in this frequency band.

Secondary surveillance radar Radar system used in air traffic control

Secondary surveillance radar (SSR) is a radar system used in air traffic control (ATC), that not only detects and measures the position of aircraft, i.e. bearing and distance, but also requests additional information from the aircraft itself such as its identity and altitude. Unlike primary radar systems that measure the bearing and distance of targets using the detected reflections of radio signals, SSR relies on targets equipped with a radar transponder, that replies to each interrogation signal by transmitting a response containing encoded data. SSR is based on the military identification friend or foe (IFF) technology originally developed during World War II, therefore the two systems are still compatible. Monopulse secondary surveillance radar (MSSR), Mode S, TCAS and ADS-B are similar modern methods of secondary surveillance.

Amateur radio

The Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union allow amateur radio operations in the frequency range 1,240–1,300 MHz, and amateur satellite up-links are allowed in the range 1,260–1,270 MHz. This is known as the 23-centimeter band by radio amateurs and as the L-band by AMSAT.

Digital Audio Broadcasting

In the United States and overseas territories, the L band is held by the military for telemetry, thereby forcing digital radio to in-band on-channel (IBOC) solutions. Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in Europe primarily uses Band III, but may also be carried in the 1452–1492 MHz range in some countries.

WorldSpace satellite radio used to broadcast in the 1467–1492 MHz L sub-band.


The band also contains the hyperfine transition of neutral hydrogen (the hydrogen line, 1420 MHz), which is of great astronomical interest as a means of imaging the normally invisible neutral atomic hydrogen in interstellar space. Consequently, parts of the L-band are protected radio astronomy allocations worldwide.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

The industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio bands are radio bands reserved internationally for the use of radio frequency (RF) energy for industrial, scientific and medical purposes other than telecommunications. Examples of applications in these bands include radio-frequency process heating, microwave ovens, and medical diathermy machines. The powerful emissions of these devices can create electromagnetic interference and disrupt radio communication using the same frequency, so these devices are limited to certain bands of frequencies. In general, communications equipment operating in these bands must tolerate any interference generated by ISM applications, and users have no regulatory protection from ISM device operation.

The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is a third generation mobile cellular system for networks based on the GSM standard. Developed and maintained by the 3GPP, UMTS is a component of the International Telecommunications Union IMT-2000 standard set and compares with the CDMA2000 standard set for networks based on the competing cdmaOne technology. UMTS uses wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA) radio access technology to offer greater spectral efficiency and bandwidth to mobile network operators.

LPD433 is a UHF band in which license free communication devices are allowed to operate in some regions. The frequencies correspond with the ITU region 1 ISM band of 433.050 MHz to 434.790 MHz, and operation is limited to CEPT countries. The frequencies used are within the 70-centimeter band, which is currently reserved for government and amateur radio operations in the United States and most nations worldwide.

Ultra high frequency The range 300-3000 MHz of the electromagnetic spectrum

Ultra high frequency (UHF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies in the range between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 3 gigahertz (GHz), also known as the decimetre band as the wavelengths range from one meter to one tenth of a meter. Radio waves with frequencies above the UHF band fall into the super-high frequency (SHF) or microwave frequency range. Lower frequency signals fall into the VHF or lower bands. UHF radio waves propagate mainly by line of sight; they are blocked by hills and large buildings although the transmission through building walls is strong enough for indoor reception. They are used for television broadcasting, cell phones, satellite communication including GPS, personal radio services including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, and numerous other applications.

Frequency allocation

Frequency allocation is the allocation and regulation of the electromagnetic spectrum into radio frequency bands, which is normally done by governments in most countries. Because radio propagation does not stop at national boundaries, governments have sought to harmonise the allocation of RF bands and their standardization.

Citizens band radio is a system of short-distance radio communications between individuals on a selection of 40 channels within the 27-MHz band. In the United Kingdom, CB radio was first legally introduced in 1981, but had been used illegally for some years prior.

The S band is a designation by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for a part of the microwave band of the electromagnetic spectrum covering frequencies from 2 to 4 gigahertz (GHz). Thus it crosses the conventional boundary between the UHF and SHF bands at 3.0 GHz. The S band is used by airport surveillance radar for air traffic control, weather radar, surface ship radar, and some communications satellites, especially those used by NASA to communicate with the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. The 10 cm radar short-band ranges roughly from 1.55 to 5.2 GHz. The S band also contains the 2.4–2.483 GHz ISM band, widely used for low power unlicensed microwave devices such as cordless phones, wireless headphones (Bluetooth), wireless networking (WiFi), garage door openers, keyless vehicle locks, baby monitors as well as for medical diathermy machines and microwave ovens. India’s regional satellite navigation network (IRNSS) broadcasts on 2.483778 to 2.500278 GHz.

The 2-meter amateur radio band is a portion of the VHF radio spectrum, comprising frequencies stretching from 144 MHz to 148 MHz in International Telecommunication Union region (ITU) Regions 2 and 3 and from 144 MHz to 146 MHz in ITU Region 1. The license privileges of amateur radio operators include the use of frequencies within this band for telecommunication, usually conducted locally within a range of about 100 miles (160 km).

The 33-centimeter or 900 MHz band is a portion of the UHF radio spectrum internationally allocated to amateur radio on a secondary basis. It ranges from 902 to 928 MHz and is unique to ITU Region 2. It is primarily used for very local communications as opposed to bands lower in frequency. However, very high antennas with high gain have shown 33 centimeters can provide good long-range communications almost equal to systems on lower frequencies such as the 70 centimeter band. The band is also used by industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) equipment, as well as low-powered unlicensed devices. Amateur stations must accept harmful interference caused by ISM users but may receive protection from unlicensed devices.

GSM frequency bands or frequency ranges are the cellular frequencies designated by the ITU for the operation of GSM mobile phones and other mobile devices.

Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) is a wireless telecommunications spectrum band used for mobile voice and data services, video, and messaging. AWS is used in the United States, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Venezuela. It replaces some of the spectrum formerly allocated to Multipoint Multichannel Distribution Service (MMDS), sometimes referred to as Wireless Cable, that existed from 2150 to 2162 MHz.

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) is a not-for-profit industry organisation representing companies across the worldwide mobile ecosystem engaged in the supply of infrastructure, semiconductors, test equipment, devices, applications and mobile support services.

The 4 millimeter band is a portion of the EHF (microwave) radio spectrum internationally allocated to amateur radio and amateur satellite use. The band is between 75.5 GHz and 81.5 GHz, with some regional and national variations.

The 9-centimeter band is a portion of the SHF (microwave) radio spectrum internationally allocated to amateur radio and amateur satellite use. The amateur radio band, in ITU regions 1 and 2, is between 3,300 MHz and 3,500 MHz, and it is available only on a secondary basis. The amateur satellite band is between 3,400 MHz and 3,410 MHz, and it is only available in ITU Regions 1 and 2, on a non-interference basis to other users. In Germany and Israel, the band 3,400 - 3,475 MHz is also allocated to the amateur service on a secondary basis.

A short-range device (SRD), described by ECC Recommendation 70-03, is a radio-frequency transmitter device used in telecommunication for the transmission of information, which has low capability of causing harmful interference to other radio equipment.

C band (IEEE) 4-8GHz

The C band is a designation by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range of frequencies ranging from 4.0 to 8.0 gigahertz (GHz); however, this definition is the one used by radar manufacturers and users, not necessarily by microwave radio telecommunications users. The C band is used for many satellite communications transmissions, some Wi-Fi devices, some cordless telephones as well as some surveillance and weather radar systems.

The 8-meter band is the lowest portion of the very high frequency (VHF) radio spectrum allocated to amateur radio use. The term refers to the average signal wavelength of 8 meters.


  1. "Harmonised use of the band 1452–1492 MHz for MFCN SDL" (PDF). CEPT ECC. 2015-07-03. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  2. Ogaja, Clement A. (2011). Applied GPS for Engineers and Project Managers. ASCE Press. doi:10.1061/9780784411506.ap02. ISBN   978-0-7844-1150-6.
  3. Nicolini, Luca; Caporali, Alessandro (9 January 2018). "Investigation on Reference Frames and Time Systems in Multi-GNSS". Remote Sensing. 10 (2): 80. doi: 10.3390/rs10010080 .
  4. http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/International/Orders/1995/da950131.txt