In the U.S., the FCC approved Digital Audio Radio Satellite (DARS) broadcasts in the S band from 2.31 to 2.36 GHz, currently used by Sirius XM Radio. More recently, it has approved for portions of the S band between 2.0 and 2.2 GHz the creation of Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) networks in connection with Ancillary Terrestrial Components (ATC). There are presently a number of companies attempting to deploy such networks, including ICO Satellite Management and TerreStar.
In May 2009, Inmarsat and Solaris Mobile (a joint venture between Eutelsat and Astra) were awarded each a 2×15 MHz portion of the S band by the European Commission.1 The two companies are allowed two years to start providing pan-European MSS services for 18 years. Allocated frequencies are 1.98 to 2.01 GHz for Earth to space communications, and from 2.17 to 2.2 GHz for space to Earth communications.2 Eutelsat W2A satellite launched in April, 2009 and located at 10° East is currently the unique satellite in Europe operating on S band frequencies.
In some countries, S band is used for Direct-to-Home satellite television (unlike similar services in most countries, which use Ku band). The frequency typically allocated for this service is 2.5 to 2.7 GHz (LOF 1.570 GHz).
Wireless network equipment compatible with IEEE802.11b and 802.11g standards use the 2.4 GHz section of the S band. Digital cordless telephones operate in this band too. Microwave ovens operate at 2495 or 2450 MHz. IEEE 802.16a and 802.16e standards utilize a part of the frequency range of S band; under WiMAX standards most vendors are now manufacturing equipment in the range of 3.5 GHz. The exact frequency range allocated for this type of use varies between countries.
The microwave spectrum is usually defined as electromagnetic energy ranging from approximately 1 GHz to 100 GHz in frequency, but older usage includes lower frequencies. Most common applications are within the 1 to 40 GHz range. Microwave frequency bands, as defined by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), are shown in the table below:
Footnote: P band is sometimes incorrectly used for Ku Band. "P" for "previous" was a radar band used in the UK ranging from 250 to 500 MHz and now obsolete per IEEE Std 521, see  and . For other definitions see Letter Designations of Microwave Bands