At the center of the new broadband satellite networks are a new generation of high-powered GEO satellites positioned 22,300 miles above the equator, operating in Ka-band (18.3-30 GHz) mode. These new purpose-built satellites are designed and optimized for broadband applications, employing many narrow spot-beams which target a much smaller area than the broad-beams used by earlier communication satellites.
At the customer site is the outdoor unit, a small (2-3 foot diameter), reflective dish-type radio antenna constructed from and coated with a variety of materials. The antenna must have an unobstructed view of the southern sky to allow for proper Line-of-sight (L-O-S) to the satellite.
Indoors, the Satellite Modem serves as an interface between the outdoor unit and customer provided equipment (i.e. PC, router) and controls satellite transmission and reception.