FCC to answer C-band consortium by “mid-2019”

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A year from now and the FCC should have its answer for the consortium of Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat (and Intel) in their quest to sell some of their C-band satellite spectrum over the US.

The consortium is offering an initial 100 MHz of bandwidth, but some members of the FCC are saying 200-300 MHz of capacity makes more sense as the FCC encourages a speedy adoption of 5G cellular telephony.

Intelsat’s CEO Steve Spengler outlined the consortium’s strategy to analysts on his post-results conference call July 31st.

Spengler said: “The July 12th open meeting of the Federal Communications Commission provided insight into progress on our breakthrough market-based proposal to enable terrestrial mobile use of the C-band spectrum in the United States. We are pleased with the positioning of our proposal in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) which was distributed the following day.”

“The comment and reply phase of the SEC rule making process will open shortly,” he added. “During this phase we and our partners on the proposal will focus on four key areas as we continue to advocate for adoption of our proposal. First, we will streamline our implementation plan. We recognise that speed differentiates our proposal. Speed is key to minimising disruptions to our business and to our customers operations. Speed is also essential to accelerate the $500 billion in potential US economic growth expected to be generated from 5G deployments. We are confident that our proposal offers the fastest path to cleared spectrum.”

“Second, we’ll refine the technical aspects of our proposal. Our proposal must balance the need to maximise the amount of spectrum we can clear and also ensures service continuity and continued reliability for our customers. It is the combination of these elements that optimise the public benefit of the spectrum.”

“Third, we will work with our customers and the various associations to build additional definition around the role of the satellite operator consortium. Our goal is to ensure that these stakeholders are as confident as we are in the operational and cost reimbursement considerations of interference mitigation.”

“Finally, we’ll address the other concerns referenced by the FCC in the NPRM. Although we’re pleased with the momentum behind our proposal, the FCC controls the process contents and timing of the ultimate order,” stated Spengler.


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