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This paper describes recent developments in geosynchronous satellite communication with special emphasis on data communication using small inexpensive Earth stations (small-Earth stations or microstations). Recent innovations in design, impacts of regulatory codes and decisions, and an illustrative system design example are all examined. Attention is directed to systems using radio frequency (RF) carriers in the -band (14/12 GHz). At some or all of these frequencies terrestrial users are generally considered as secondary to users of fixed satellite services. Because of this relative freedom from terrestrial interference concerns, installation of -band small-Earth stations can be made relatively free of regulatory involvement and coordination procedures. The basic equations governing the noise and interference terms entering link margin calculations are presented. A design example is given, detailing one type of system of practical importance.