What is the C Band?

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Editorial Team - everything RF

Aug 11, 2019

IEEE Radar C Band

Frequency Letter BandC-Band
Frequency Range4 to 8 GHz
Wavelength3.75 cm to 7.5 cm

The C-Band as defined by IEEE is a frequency range from 4 to 8 GHz. IEEE uses letters to signify a range of frequencies from 1 to 170 GHz. This IEEE Microwave frequency band is mostly used for satellite communications, full-time satellite TV networks or raw satellite feeds. The C-band is preferred over the Ku band for satellite communications as it is less susceptible to rain fade than Ku band. This band is also used for weather radars, the 802.11a version of Wi-Fi devices and Radio LAN in the 5 GHz range.

The bands available for satellite communications are 3.4 to 4.2 GHz (downlink i.e. space-to-Earth) and 5.925 to 6.725 GHz (uplink i.e. Earth-to-space). In satellite communications, the bands from 3.7 to 4.2 GHz (space-to-Earth) and 5.925 to 6.425 GHz (Earth-to-space) are called as "Standard" C-band and the bands from 3.4 to 3.7 GHz (space-to-Earth) and 6.425 to 6.725 GHz (Earth-to-space) are known as "Extended" C-band.

Advantages of C Band:

  • Less interference from heavy rain fading
  • Cheaper bandwidth compare to other bands

Click here to see the other IEEE/Radar Letter Frequency Bands.

C Band defined by NATO

NATO had a separate frequency band notation system which is now obsolete. They also had a frequency band represented by the letter C. This band had a frequency range from 0.5 to 1 GHz and a wavelength from 300 to 600 mm.