I would like to know on the orbital slots information (GEO) of few select countries and their current status. Please suggest the right source for them.

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe the concept of "allocation" is more appropriate than "owndership". Also, what do you mean by "current status"? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 13 at 2:45
  • $\begingroup$ The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for many matters related to information and communication technologies. ITU responsibilities in GEO are for Orbital Slot Assignment, assigning specific orbital slots for GEO satellites. The ITU maintains the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR). The ITU allocates radio frequency bands for GEO satellite operations and ensures that they do not interfere with other satellite systems or terrestrial services. $\endgroup$ Apr 13 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ You can also search the ITU database: itu.int/snl/freqtab_snl.html $\endgroup$ Apr 13 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ ucsusa.org/resources/satellite-database#.W7WcwpMza9Y this is a database of all satellites including those in GEO and their operators. So you can pretty much search for yourself. This yielded about 31 Indian satellites in GEO for example. $\endgroup$ Apr 13 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


As uhoh comments it is not a question of ownership, no one owns an orbital slot.

The UN has a body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), that seeks to maintain a register of who in its Member States (IIRC 174 signatories) has what in any orbital slot and the radio frequency bands operated, maintained in the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR).

Member States simply state details of who/when/what/freq for each satellite they plan to launch to the ITU.

If there is a clash/potential interference with another States satellite they are encouraged to coordinate their efforts in resolving this.

You can search the ITU database: https://www.itu.int/snl/freqtab_snl.html

There is also a database of all satellites including those in GEO and their operators (up to 2023) at: https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/satellite-database#.W7WcwpMza9Y

Between these resources (and also wikipedia) you should be able to work out the information you seek.

Other info:


All States are free to choose and assign particular radio frequencies and orbital positions to their respective satellites, though they are obliged to avoid causing harmful interference to the radio frequencies that have been registered earlier with the ITU.

Essentially the ITU operates in a voluntary manner and has no 'active' allocation process, nor does it possess any mechanism, power of enforcement, nor imposition of sanctions against the violators of rules and regulations.


To guarantee operability without harmful interference, ITU allocates frequencies, and positions (for GEO satellites) or orbital characteristics (for non-geostationary satellites) for every radio transmitting and/or receiving satellite in each orbital category, recording all these allocations in the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR).

Coordination, when required, amongst satellite operators and centralized global registration helps optimize spectrum and orbital resource use by all nations and discourages the “warehousing” of frequencies that might be needed for other uses.

Coordination and notification to avoid interference

Mitsuhiro Sakamoto, Head of ITU’s Space Systems Coordination Division, describes the procedure for putting a satellite into orbit as “similar to joining a club – with four steps to get in.”

The four steps are:

  • Publish planned use of satellite networks
  • Guarantee alignment with Radio Regulations articles 5, 21, and 22
  • Negotiate and reach coordination agreements, when required, with concerned administrations
  • Record frequency assignments in MIFR

The first step, in which a national administration publishes the planned characteristics of a satellite project, is essential for coordination with others, if required. This is then checked against key Radio Regulations articles. If coordination is required, the concerned administrations – the one submitting the project and any others whose existing space services might be affected – then negotiate over the proposed spectrum use. Agreement must be reached before the new usage can be entered into the MIFR.

Another key regulatory procedure is notification, particularly for satellites not subject to coordination.

“The basic difference is that for satellites that don’t require coordination, you just submit advance publication information, or an API,” explained Chuen Chern Loo, Head of ITU’s Space Publication and Registration Division.

Article 5 of the Radio Regulations – the Table of Frequency Allocations – will indicate whether a frequency band is subject to coordination or can be claimed via API. Once the API is submitted, other administrations can comment formally on the intended band usage.

The proposed satellite system must be in orbit and put to its designated use within seven years of API issuance.

As noted in the links, with the increase of satellite numbers, actual allocation by the ITU itself (as opposed to how it is simply checked and recorded as it is now, on a 'first come first served' basis) will need to evolve as what was seen as a lot of space, actually starts to get very cluttered in the future.





  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I've taken the line out, though it is odd that that the ITU says it allocates (i've also seen assign) but it doesn't - 'States are free to choose and assign particular radio frequencies and orbital positions to their respective satellites' - ITU just adds what it is given to the register... $\endgroup$ Apr 14 at 1:11

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