Before a satellite can use the spectrum and orbital resources it needs to fulfil its mission, it requires an associated ‘satellite filing’. A filing is a tool to obtain – through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialised agency of the United Nations – international recognition of these resources. As the notifying administration of the UK, Ofcom submits and manages all satellite filings to the ITU on behalf of organisations registered in the UK, the British Overseas Territories, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
The relevant rules governing the use of the electromagnetic spectrum by satellites are included in the Radio Regulations, an international treaty of which the UK is a signatory.
Ofcom supports new and established satellite operators to realise their projects through every step of the ITU’s process.
International Frequency Coordination (IFC) Team
Tel: +44 (0)20 7981 3100
Fax: +44 (0)20 7981 3208
This depends on conditions such as the service area, class of service and the region in which you wish to operate. Detailed information can be found in Article 5 of the Radio Regulations. Based on the provisions under Article 5, practically every country which is signatory to the Radio Regulations determines how the spectrum is then ‘allocated’ on its territory.
In order to reduce the risk of causing or receiving harmful interference we do not generally support the submission of filings which do not conform with Article 5 of the Radio Regulations and which seek to operate on a non-interference / non-protection basis.
Yes. There are typically two satellite orbits, a non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) and geostationary satellite orbit (GSO). In general, non-geostationary satellites are required to protect geostationary satellites in certain situations.
Ofcom does not disclose to third parties nor make public proprietary information obtained through the fulfilment of its duties, apart from those cases stipulated in the Communications Act 2003.
Once all necessary information has been received from an operator, Ofcom aims to submit the relevant information to the ITU within 10 working days. If this is not likely to be possible, for example due to queries that need to be resolved or an abnormally high workload, we will provide an indication of how long we expect to take.
No. Submissions relating to cube / nano satellites currently follow the same process as standard satellite networks and systems.
In general, Ofcom makes first contact with the administration responsible for the filing of the overseas company. After that, the UK operator can usually carry out further discussions with its overseas counterpart directly. Further guidance is available in our Procedures for the management of satellite filings (PDF, 532.2 KB).
Ofcom will assess the efforts made by the operator to coordinate the satellite filing. If we are satisfied that reasonable efforts have been made to complete such coordination and that the satellite is not likely to cause, nor suffer from, interference from other networks, we may submit the notification request to the ITU. We may also impose additional conditions on the operation of the satellite network / system. Further guidance is available in our Procedures for the management of satellite filings (PDF, 532.2 KB).
The timetable for 2020 publications is:
Date of Publication