I have an interesting question. I was thinking about it a year ago when the es'Hailsat 2 was not launched.

There was an organization called "Outernet" that promissed to broadcast files (including ham radio APRS packets) from geostationary satellites all over the globe.

Then they ran into financial difficulties and their CEO posted that "we're switching to Ka (or Ku?) band, so broadcasting will not be a financial difficulty anymore". So, I started wondering: how can I lease a transponder (probably, a little portion of it) and now much it costs?

I have googled for companies that provide such service and contacted one but they said that I should be a company and sign a NDA to even get the price. (Such a huge price?)

I found an answer that broadcasting company paid \$2M per 37MHz per year. So, 2000000/360/37/1000000*6000= almost \$1 per 6KHz signal per day! So, it's much cheaper than a satellite phone! (6KHz is a SSB bandwitdh *2).

I don't sure they allow to rent this small bandwith, but on the other hand they allowed Outernet to transmit theit narrow unusual signal, so transmitting SSB or FM should be possible. Also in my area ham radio operators should lease a frequency for a repeater or a 24/7 beacon, and AFAIK we even have 0.1 "social importance" price multiplier for "amateur radio beacon" or "amateur radio beacon" radio services. So it should be possible for a private person to rent a frequency and a transponder for ham radio use, but how?

  • $\begingroup$ For ham radio, wouldn't it be easier to use one of the amateur radio satellites? amsat.org $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ You would not only have to pay for the used bandwidth but also for the necessary gaps below and above the bandwidth. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Commented Jan 11, 2019 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ You could look into the "gift transponder" situation here. It may not be in your area though. How might (or has) the 'gift' transponders on ISRO's GSAT-9 be used by other countries? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 2, 2019 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


In many places, the satellite owner does not deal with retail distribution of the satellite's capacity. They lease capacity in terms of Gbit/s or MHz interval, but only to very large companies, for a very large amount.

They don't want business intelligence to get their data, hence they'll only provide a custom quote for a transponder or part of a capacity to a company providing good signs that they have legitimate reasons to make deals.

It looks super sketchy from the perspective of this kind of company that a random individual sends an email asking for the price of a transponder.

The "social importance" idea you've mentioned would work is you could provide good publicity for the company providing you with a service or benefit. Even in your question you did not mention why you wanted to rent this capacity, so it looks very unlikely that you can provide marketing returns.

Good to notice is that sometimes, depending on how you want to use a transponder carried by a GEO spacecraft, that involves big costs, planing and engineering, even for a narrow bandwidth. You may look at a user terminal (look up the acronym VSAT) and know you can pay that from your pocket, but this antenna communicates with the spacecraft that normally just relays signal to a very big (e.g. 14m dish) antenna.


While writing this answer about Chandrayaan-2 I ran across the following ISRO page:

It provides contact information (e-mail, phone) and links to

There are similar links for commercial users.


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