Advanced Television

Eutelsat CEO: CBA wasn’t listening to us

September 11, 2019

By Chris Forrester

Eutelsat CEO Rodophe Belmer sat alongside the CEOs of his former partners in the C-Band Alliance (SES, Intelsat and Telesat) on a conference panel and his comments were blunt as he told delegates to Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week in Paris that the other members of the Alliance were not listening to Eutelsat and its concerns.

The C-Band Alliance (CBA) is handling the formal discussions with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over proposals to reassign 180 MHz of spectrum over the US for use by 5G operators.

Those concerns cover how much spectrum could be freed up, how large any voluntary payment to the US Treasury should be, and the disbursement of auction proceeds to the CBA

“Our share of the C-Band Alliance was very, very small. In that context, it is difficult to get your voice heard within a group with much larger players,” said Belmer.

He told delegates that Eutelsat wanted greater influence on CBA decisions, and in particular how the probable financial windfall should be distributed amongst CBA members. Belmer stressed that Eutelsat was not against the CBA but that he preferred “driving” himself.

SES’ CEO Steve Collar responded, saying he respected Eutelsat’s decision and admitting that it would have been better had the four members stayed together but that the move was not likely to upset progress of the discussions with the FCC.

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