L band

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This article is about the IEEE defined range of the radio spectrum. For other uses, see L band (disambiguation).
IEEE L band
Frequency range
1 – 2 GHz
Wavelength range
3 – 1.5 dm
Related bands
  • D (NATO)
  • SHF (ITU)

L band, as defined by the IEEE, is the 1 to 2 GHz range of the radio spectrum.


Satellite navigation[edit]

The Global Positioning System carriers are in the L band, centered at 1176.45 MHz (L5), 1227.60 MHz (L2), 1381.05 MHz (L3), and 1575.42 MHz (L1) frequencies.

Telecommunications use[edit]

GSM mobile phones operate at 800–900 and 1800–1900 MHz. Iridium Satellite LLC phones use frequencies between 1616 and 1626.5 MHz[1] to communicate with the satellites. Inmarsat and LightSquared terminals use frequencies between 1525 and 1646.5 MHz to communicate with the satellites. Thuraya satellite phones use frequencies between 1525 and 1661 MHz to communicate with the satellites.

Aircraft surveillance[edit]

Aircraft can use Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) equipment at 1090 MHz to communicate position information to the ground as well as between them for traffic information and avoidance. The 1090 MHz frequency (in pair with 1030 MHz frequency) is also used by Mode S transponders, which ADS-B extends when operated at this frequency. ADS-B information can also be broadcast just outside the L band range at 978 MHz.

Amateur radio[edit]

The Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union allow amateur radio operations in the frequency range 1,240 to 1,300 MHz, and amateur satellite up-links are allowed in the range 1,260 to 1,270 MHz. This is known as the 23-centimeter band by radio amateurs and the L-band by AMSAT.

Digital Audio Broadcasting[edit]

In the United States and overseas territories, the L band is held by the military for telemetry, thereby forcing digital radio to in-band on-channel (IBOC) solutions. Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) is typically done in the 1452–1492-MHz range as in most of the world, but other countries also use VHF and UHF bands.

WorldSpace satellite radio broadcasts in the 1467–1492 MHz L sub-band.


The band also contains the hyperfine transition of neutral hydrogen (the hydrogen line, 1420 MHz), which is of great astronomical interest as a means of imaging the normally invisible neutral atomic hydrogen in interstellar space. Consequently parts of the L-band are protected radio astronomy allocations worldwide.