Intelsat and SES have announced alignment on a proposal to the U.S. FCC which seeks to protect the wide array of established satellite services in the 3700-4200 MHz C-band downlink spectrum while opening a specified portion of that spectrum for terrestrial mobile use.
The proposal builds on an innovative model first put forward to the FCC by Intelsat and Intel Corporation in October 2017. It sets a commercial and technical framework that would enable wireless operators to quickly access approximately 100 MHz of nationwide C-band downlink spectrum in the US, accelerating the deployment of 5G services. The proposal specifies the creation of a consortium, which would be open to all satellite operators delivering services in the C-band downlink frequencies in any part of the lower 48 United States.
Karim Michel Sabbagh, president and CEO of SES, said: “Space and ground segment operators have invested billions of dollars in U.S. C-band networks and connectivity and generate important value out of it. The C-band satellite consortium is to be set up to ensure that the expansion of the C-band ecosystem in the U.S. will protect the interests of hundreds of established services and millions of American end-users, while at the same time paving the way for the creation of next-generation 5G terrestrial services.”
Intel welcomed this alignment of Intelsat and SES. Peter Pitsch, associate general counsel, Intel, said: “We plan to continue to support this market-based approach, which we believe paves the way for the accelerated deployment of 5G in the U.S.”
Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler said: “Our proposed market-based solution provides a speedy resolution to the U.S. objective of accelerating deployment of 5G services. With Intelsat and SES now in agreement on major tenets of the framework and with the support of Intel, we are confident in our ability to implement this proposal quickly and efficiently, ultimately to the benefit of American consumers and the U.S. economy.”