Advanced Television

Intelsat’s comments push shares into orbit

May 21, 2018

Satellite operator Intelsat is leading a charge to see some of its C-band capacity used to help speed up 5G deployment in the US. Comments made by CEO Steve Spengler at J P Morgan’s Global Technology, Media and Communications conference in Boston have helped Intelsat’s share price drive to modern record high values.

May 17th saw Intelsat’s share price rise 4.89 percent to $14.36. A month ago, their price was $9.11. A year ago, they languished at $2.86. Some profit taking occurred on May 18th, but the price hovered around $14.25.

Spengler had told delegates that, along with Intel and fellow-operator SES, the scheme to see some capacity used for 5G would mean expenses for the satellite operators in shifting some of their C-band television and cable customers to new frequencies. “I wouldn’t put it in the billions,” he said, “but it is a sizeable effort.”

He also explained to delegates that C-band, as far as transmission was concerned, was far better than fibre. “C-band is the highest0quality transmission. This is what customers want. Fibre does not provide the same quality. Sometimes you need three fibre strands to get the same level of quality that you have with a satellite connection.”

Spengler said there were between 10,000-15,000 C-band receiving antennas in use, and some would need to be relocated, and as many as 5,000-6,000 were in remote areas where [connecting] fibre would be costly.”

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