SES victorious in Eutelsat battle
September 16, 2013
By Chris Forrester
SES has won the first stage of a bitter arbitration dispute with rivals Eutelsat over frequency rights at 28/28.5 degrees East. SES can now start transmissions on October 4th and make use of 500 MHz of bandwidth currently used by Eutelsat’s Eurobird-1/28A satellite.
However, the squabble is far from over. While SES can next month start transmissions, and the formal transfer of frequency contracts with the likes of Arqiva, GlobeCast and individual broadcasters, it seems that Eutelsat will continue the argument in a second phase to the arbitration process.
Eutelsat, for example, says it believes it can demonstrate it has the regulatory right to operate in the disputed frequencies, and will appeal the decisions.
The ruling will inevitably affect the revenue streams of both satellite operators. Eutelsat will lose the revenue and profits from the transponders it has rented, and SES will have a matching gain in revenues.