Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat agree for shared usage of C-band spectrum

Global satellite operators Intelsat, SES and Eutelsat have agreed for a shared usage of the lower C-band spectrum in the U.S. to make profit from 5G roll outs in future.
Eutelsat, Intelsat and SES prepared the market-based proposal in response to an initiative by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The U.S.-specific proposal which would protect C-band video and data transmissions and support accelerated 5G rollout by mobile operators such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.

The proposal aims to protect the quality of the services provided by satellite operators in the C-band spectrum to U.S. broadcasters, media, and data companies.

The proposal establishes a commercial and technical framework that would enable terrestrial mobile operators to access spectrum in the 3,700 to 4,200 MHz frequency band in the U.S., speeding the deployment of next-generation 5G services.

C-band spectrum delivers distribution of video and audio programming to 100 million U.S. households, and providing critical data connectivity in rural areas and emergency situations, as well as services delivered to the U.S. government.

The consortium members will manage the governance of the initiative and implement the methodology for spectrum clearance, and serve as the sole interface for market-based transactions with parties interested in deploying terrestrial mobile services in specific portions of the C-band.

Intelsat, SES, and Eutelsat represent a substantial majority of the relevant satellite C-band spectrum in use in the U.S.

“The proposal aims to create fair conditions for the shared use of C-band with mobile operators in the U.S.,” said Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer, Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler and SES CEO Steve Collar in a joint statement.

Analysts say France’s Eutelsat’s decision in joining satellite operator rivals Intelsat and SES in a proposal to free up spectrum for the rollout of 5G mobile networks in the United States, will boost their profits.

The companies’ proposal aims to make more efficient use of part of the C-band spectrum in the United States, freeing up space that could then be sold on to mobile operators.

The inclusion of Eutelsat, which owns a smaller portion of the C-band than Intelsat and SES, helps solidify a proposal to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Eutelsat, Intelsat and SES said the consortium would be open to all satellite operators delivering services in the C-band in the United States, and would deal with transactions with companies wishing to use specific portions of the spectrum for mobile services.