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Eutelsat wants to join SES+Intelsat 5G consortium over US

February 19, 2018

By Chris Forrester

Eutelsat’s CEO Rodolphe Belmer says he wants his Paris-based company to join with the proposed Intelsat and SES (and Intel) scheme to use C-band capacity to help promote the roll-out of 5G in the US.

Belmer, in his dialogue with market analysts February 16th, said: “There has been a spontaneous and sort of unilateral step made by one of our competitors in the US which aims at sharing in essence the C-band spectrum [part of which] we own in North America with mobile operators and to monetize this sharing through what they called a market-based approach. Well, do we like to participate to that initiative and do we like to be part of the consortium? The answer is yes. The fact is that we should be prudent by in all saying that it’s a very complicated process.”

“It’s a process which is going to take quite a long time. And we are only at the very beginning of it, meaning that even though it looks exciting, you should wait to be excited. And the second element, we control only a small portion of the C-band in North America. We have around 5 per cent of the C-band, meaning that we are a minor player. It doesn’t mean that we don’t want to be a player, we will be a player, we will be part of it because we want to understand, to have visibility and to have our words to say on how the C-band spectrum is going to evolve in North America. But it is a complicated situation, not for now, and we represent only a minority portion of this platform.”

Belmer’s comments seemed to impress the market and helped send Eutelsat’s shares rocketing more than €2 to €19.03 (up 12.17 per cent) on February 16th and also helping lift SES (up 5.19 per cent) and Intelsat (up 9 per cent) at the same time.

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