The CBA has implied ‘business as usual’ following Eutelsat’s decision to quit the Alliance – leaving Intelsat, SES and Telesat to argue with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the merits of their scheme to repurpose 180 MHz of satellite spectrum over the US.
The CBA said: “The CBA remains committed to delivering its expeditious, market-based proposal and the departure of Eutelsat does not impact the CBA’s ability to do so. The remaining members of the CBA, which represent approximately 95 per cent of the affected revenues of the US C-band market, are aligned and committed to the process of engaging with the FCC on the proposal of rapidly clearing C-band spectrum to support the deployment of 5G services in the US.”
The consensus is that Eutelsat believes it can win a greater slice of the CBA’s potential windfall from a positive FCC decision in favour of the CBA’s scheme.
Importantly, Telesat, which controls an estimated 3-5 per cent of the satellite capacity serving the US, has firmly stayed within the Alliance.
Eutelsat filed a document with the FCC on September 3rd saying that “Eutelsat continues to support the CBA proposal for a market-driven clearing of the lower portion of the 3.7-4.2 GHz band.”
In other words it supports the work of the CBA.
Sami Kassab, a media and satellite equity analyst at bankers Exane/BNPP said that there may also be a disagreement between Eutelsat and the Alliance as to the amount of voluntary contribution that should be voluntarily handed over to the US Treasury as part of the negotiations.