Intelsat’s “great opportunity”
July 31, 2018
By Chris Forrester
Satellite operator Intelsat’s CEO Steve Spengler spoke of the company’s “great opportunity” and cited the near-completion of the deployment of its new ‘Epic’ fleet of craft and the raising of $633 million in fresh capital. He was speaking during the release of Intelsat’s Q2 results.
But Spengler’s main comments were focused on the FCC’s enthusiasm for the Intelsat (and SES and Eutelsat) proposals for reallocation of some of its C-band frequencies over the US.
“We are encouraged by the thoughtful reception that the Federal Communications Commission has given to the innovative proposal that we developed in conjunction with Intel. We’ll continue to promote our market-based proposal, joining with SES and more recently, Eutelsat. Our proposal will speed wireless access to spectrum in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band known as C-band, crucial for the development of the American economy, while not compromising on the protection of the quality and reliability of television and other critical services that currently rely on this spectrum,” said Spengler.
“We intend to continue to work constructively with the FCC, our customers and other stakeholders. The satellite operators will work to demonstrate our ability to efficiently implement our market-based proposal, protecting the C-band services environment from disruptive interference while clearing spectrum to accelerate the era of 5G in the US. We believe that it is possible the FCC may issue its final Report and Order in early to mid-2019,” said a company statement.
Total revenue at Intelsat as $538 million in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of $4 million, or 1 percent, as compared to the second quarter of 2017. Net loss attributable to Intelsat. was $47 million for the second quarter of 2018, as compared to net loss attributable to Intelsat of $24 million in the second quarter of 2017. Higher interest rate costs were the primary contributor to the greater loss.
Contracted backlog at June 30th 2018 was $8.7 billion, inclusive of approximately $1.1 billion attributable to the effects of [new financial reporting obligations] ASC 606. Excluding the effects of ASC 606, contracted backlog at June 30, 2018 was $7.5 billion, representing expected future revenue under existing contracts with customers, as compared to $7.6 billion at March 31st 2018.