Concerns grow over C-Band Alliance

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The C-Band Alliance (CBA) is talking with the FCC over proposals to use satellite’s C-band frequencies to help boost take-up and deployment of 5G cellular, but the plan is not going down well with some satellite operators.

CBA is made up of Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat. The concerns are coming from Hispasat of Madrid, StarOne of Brazil and ABS, which is domiciled in Bermuda, and the trio say they have been – in effect – shut out from the CBA consortium, and the potential windfall of billions of dollars likely to flow from the telco buyers of frequencies and capacity.

Phil L. Spector, a well-known senior lawyer and until recently General Counsel at Intelsat and a board member, is now representing ABS and claims that the CBA has stonewalled operators such as ABS.

Spector is arguing that the probable windfall should logically be shared between the trio, who say that while they currently do not have operational C-band capacity over the US, they intend to launch services. One satellite, ABS-3A, for example, has a projected ‘end of life’ of 2042 and therefore has plenty of time to win customers in the US.

Hispasat’s Amazonas-3 does cover parts of the US in C-band, while StarOne’s C1 satellite also has C-band capacity.

Spector says that if these players cannot deploy services in C-band then they should be compensated.


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