With an eye toward the FCC’s 2023 deadline, Intelsat and SES went on a shopping spree. But the C-band bonanza isn’t likely to be repeated anytime soon.
Intelsat has signed a satellite contract with Maxar Technologies, placing the final order in a one-time surge in manufacturing deals triggered by the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming C-band spectrum auction.
Eutelsat Communications says it no longer intends to buy a reimbursable C-band replacement satellite for the U.S. market, having concluded it can make do with less spectrum by rationalizing capacity on its current geostationary fleet.
Satellite fleet operator SES has selected Thales Alenia Space to build two C-band satellites, making the Franco-Italian manufacturer the first European company to win one of nine replacement satellite orders placed this year as a result of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming C-band spectrum auction.
Commercial satellite operatorSES has selected SpaceX and United Launch Alliance to each launch two geostationary satellites designed to replace C-band capacity in the United States that the Federal Communications Commission is repurposing for 5G cellular networks.
Fleet operator SES filed a claim July 14 against Intelsat seeking at least $1.8 billion in damages for Intelsat’s withdrawal from the C-Band Alliance.
Hughes Network Systems and Inmarsat are asking the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to amend its C-band auction plans to avoid giving Intelsat and SES an unfair competitive advantage in other spectrum bands and neighboring markets.
The court overseeing an effort by three satellite operators to prevent the FCC’s December C-band auction ruled against a motion that would have halted the auction, a decision that allows the auction schedule to hold but does not end the legal dispute.
Paris-based Eutelsat told the FCC that it will have to replace one geostationary satellite it previously did not plan to replace as a result of the FCC decision to clear spectrum for U.S. 5G networks.
A key U.S. senator who stymied Intelsat and SES’s proposal last year to privately auction a swath of public airwaves to 5G wireless providers took aim Tuesday at the billions in incentives the satellite operators now stand to receive for vacating the spectrum ahead of schedule.
Boeing and Northrop Grumman will each build two geostationary communications satellites for SES designed specifically for C-band services in the United States, SES announced June 16.
Fleet operator Intelsat on June 15 said it has ordered six new satellites — four from Maxar Technologies and two from Northrop Grumman — that it needs to continue telecommunications services in the United States with less spectrum by early December 2023.
SES is two to three weeks away from ordering six C-band satellites to replace older satellites whose usefulness will be cut short by the FCC’s upcoming spectrum auction, SES CEO Steve Collar told SpaceNews.
Rationalization of the startup landscape and the right sizing of company balance sheets is inevitable, paving the way for “Space 3.0,” which will see the profitable and sustainable exploitation of entirely new market opportunities, backed by a growing base of enlightened stakeholders.
Intelsat hopes it can eliminate around half of its $15 billion debt load through bankruptcy, a move that would free the company to invest in next generation satellite technologies, according to a company executive.