SES weeks away from ordering six C-band satellites

WASHINGTON — SES is 2 to a few weeks away from ordering six C-band satellites to switch older satellites whose usefulness will probably be lower brief by the FCC’s upcoming spectrum public sale, SES CEO Steve Collar advised table4. 

Collar stated SES must get all six into manufacturing quickly so the corporate could have the fitting satellites in orbit in 2023 to make due with the 200-megahertz slice of U.S. C-band spectrum satellite tv for pc operators could have left after relinquishing 300 megahertz for mobile 5G networks. 

SES intends to divide the six-satelite order amongst a number of producers. 

“An important factor on this plan is pace and time, and no danger,” Collar stated. “A part of that will probably be utilizing numerous distributors each on the satellite tv for pc aspect and on the launch automobile aspect, with the precedence being time to market.”

Collar declined to say which producers are within the working to construct the satellites. Nonetheless, he stated the orders will “be factor for the U.S. house business,” which is dwelling to established geostationary satellite tv for pc producers Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Maxar Applied sciences and Northrop Grumman. 

Contract bulletins for the six satellites is likely to be staggered over the weeks forward fairly than made unexpectedly, he stated. 

SES advised the FCC late final month it’s going to take part within the company’s accelerated clearing program, which incentivizes satellite tv for pc operators to clear 300 megahertz of North American C-band spectrum as much as two years sooner than the December 2025 deadline. SES stands to obtain a $3.97 billion incentive fee if it may vacate the repurposed band by Dec. 5, 2023. Lacking that deadline by a single day would price SES almost $200 million in forfeited fee. The motivation would additional shrink each 30 days, finally reaching zero in June 2024.

The FCC adopted this sliding scale for accelerated C-band spectrum clearing funds, with fee reductions for delays. Credit score: FCC.

The FCC’s accelerated clearing program requires SES and the opposite taking part satellite tv for pc operators — Intelsat, Eutelsat, Telesat and Embratel Star One — to clear the primary 120 megahertz by Dec. 5, 2021, a date Collar stated is simply too quickly to have alternative satellites in orbit. As a direct step, SES is ordering sign filters for C-band buyer antennas to stop the disruption of tv broadcasts and different providers by upcoming mobile 5G alerts. Collar stated the alternative satellites will probably be required for SES to proceed serving  its C-band clients as soon as the obtainable bandwidth narrows additional to 200 megahertz, down from the five hundred megahertz of U.S. C-band presently allotted for satellite tv for pc operators. 

The FCC is requiring mobile community operators that bid for C-band spectrum within the company’s Dec. 8 public sale to reimburse satellite tv for pc operators shifting out of the spectrum for the price of alternative satellites and different infrastructure. SES estimates it’s going to spend $1.6 billion on alternative satellites, launches and floor tools to clear its portion of the spectrum. 

SES’s satellite tv for pc orders will present a lift to a satellite tv for pc manufacturing sector in a 12 months that has been mild on orders. Solely two producers have introduced business GEO satellite tv for pc orders this 12 months.  Thales Alenia House gained Hispasat’s Amazonas Nexus satellite tv for pc order in January and Maxar introduced in Could that it obtained a multiple-satellites order from a buyer it declined to call. Analysts stated final month that Maxar’s order is probably going for C-band alternative satellites which, given SES’s upcoming procurement plans, seem like for Intelsat. 

Intelsat, which filed final month for Chapter 11 chapter to guard its belongings from collectors because it reorders its monetary affairs, has stated it’s going to want as much as seven C-band satellites to proceed service with much less spectrum. 

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