FCC Approves Market Access for Kineis Low-Earth Orbit Satellites to Support Internet of Things

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2021—The Federal Communications Commission today granted a petition from French satellite company Kinéis to offer satellite services in the U.S. market. As detailed in the company’s application, the proposed constellation of 25 small, low-Earth orbit satellites would provide connectivity for Internet of Things devices, as well as enhancements to maritime domain awareness through monitoring of maritime communication.

Kinéis petitioned the Commission for access to the U.S. market using frequencies of the non-voice, non-geostationary (NVNG) mobile-satellite service (MSS) and earth exploration satellite service (EESS) through a constellation of satellites that will be authorized by France. Adoption of this Order and Declaratory Ruling will facilitate Kinéis’s efforts to develop a satellite system to provide connectivity for IoT devices. It grants Kinéis market access in the 399.9-400.05 MHz and 401-403 MHz uplink bands, and the 400.15 401 MHz downlink band, subject to certain conditions and other requirements including the outcome of future Commission proceedings such as the orbital debris proceeding. Five of Kinéis’s satellites will actively monitor certain signals in the 156.7625-162.0375 MHz band transmitted by stations in the maritime service.

The Kinéis system would also be part of implementing the next generation Argos data collection system, an existing worldwide network of data collection satellites cooperatively managed by France’s space agency, CNES, along with NASA and NOAA.

Action by the Commission November 18, 2021 by Order and Declaratory Ruling (FCC 21-18). Chairwoman Rosenworcel, Commissioners Carr, Starks, and Simington approving.