UK regulator Ofcom has issued formal warnings to Inmarsat and Solaris Mobile that they must bring into use their planned services by December 2016, or else risk losing the frequency rights.
The transmission rights cover the intended supply of satellite radio and transmissions to hand-held devices proposed some years ago.
Solaris Mobile’s S-band orbital assets were sold to an Echostar subsidiary in January 2014 having struggled to make any headway. Dublin-based Solaris Mobile was being backed by an SES and Eutelsat joint-venture, and using a giant – but faulty – S-band antenna that sat on a Eutelsat satellite launched in 2009.
Inmarsat received its S-band licence from the European Union but never launched a satellite.
In a January 2014 statement accompanying the purchase announcement, EchoStar Satellite Services President Anders Johnson said EchoStar plans “to build upon the groundwork laid by Solaris Mobile by most immediately bringing with us access to a next-generation MSS [mobile satellite service] satellite which will support a wide range of innovative services across the European Union.”