SES announced the launch of SES-22 satellite into space onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, United States, at 5:04 pm local time.
Thales Alenia Space has built the first of SES’s C-band satellites dedicated to freeing up the lower 300 MHz of C-band spectrum in line with the FCC guidelines. The satellite will deliver TV and radio to American homes and provide critical data transmission services. SES-22 is expected to start operations by early August 2022.
The launch of SES-22, as part of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to clear a portion of C-band spectrum, will enable wireless operators such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to deploy 5G network across the US.
The FCC earlier asked satellite operators such as SES to transition their services from the lower 300 MHz to the upper 200 MHz of C-band spectrum to support the expansion of 5G network across the United States.
SES will launch five satellites – SES-18, SES-19, SES-20, SES-21 and SES-22 in 2022 to meet the FCC’s accelerated deadline of clearing C-band spectrum across the US by December 2023.
Steve Collar, CEO of SES, said: “The launch of SES-22, together with other upcoming C-band satellite launches scheduled this year, will enable us to continue providing the high-quality services that our customers have been accustomed to over the last several decades, while freeing up spectrum that will enable the US to rapidly unlock the promise of 5G.”
“This achievement reflects the robustness of our Spacebus 4000 B2 platform combined with our ability to timely and quickly deliver SES-22, two key elements leading to the decision of SES working with us to replace its existing C-Band fleet,” said Herve Derrey, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space.
The SES-22 spacecraft had a fast on-ground delivery time as satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space shipped it only 22 months after it was ordered. SES-22 is the seventh SES satellite launched by SpaceX over the last 10 years.