C Band is a label for particular segments of the electromagnetic spectrum. It also refers to a range of light wavelengths used in the communications field. The IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers) C band and its variants are the ranges used in some satellite television transmissions, some cordless home phones, Wi-Fi devices, and weather radars. The lower C band frequencies suit best with harsh weather conditions (than Ku or Ka band frequencies) for satellite communications.
The C band uses the 5.925-6.425 GHz range for uplink and 3.7-4.2 GHz range for downlink. Large satellite dishes require the C band. Dishes for this frequency band are usually between 6 to 9 feet across with varying signal strength.
IEEE C Band
The microwave frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum from 4 GHz to 8 GHz refers the IEEE C band.
The IEEE C band was the first band allotted ground-to-satellite commercial communications. Open-satellite communications use C-band for round-the-clock satellite television networks or raw feeds. This employment differs from Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS), a closed system that delivers subscription programming sent to small dishes linked to receiving equipment.
C band is usually associated with Television Receive-Only (TVRO) satellite systems. These ‘big dish’ systems are optimal for the C band, as opposed to small receiver antennae.
C band dishes are much larger than other band dishes, and sometimes referred to as BUDs (Big Ugly Dishes). Most antennae for C-band compatible systems are within the range of 7.5-12 feet for commercial satellite dishes.
The NATO C Band
The segment of the electromagnetic spectrum from 500 MHz to 100 MHz is known as the NATO C band.
The 5.4 GHz band used for IEEE 802.11a Wi-Fi and wireless home phone devices occasionally lead to interference with weather radar working within the C band.