Intelsat “close” to ordering next-gen satellites

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Intelsat is already drifting an orbiting satellite in order to replace the lost IS-29e which failed in April. Speaking at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, CEO Steve Spengler said Intelsat expected to suffer a $70 million EBITDA hit from the loss of IS-29e at 50 degrees West which would translate into a $50 million revenue impact.

Spengler said the loss of the satellite needed a ‘multi-pronged’ response, which as well as moving a satellite to the orbital location, a new satellite would be ordered by the end of this year, and that it would be supplied in a short time-frame.

Spengler gave some information as to the likely cost to C-Band Alliance members (Intelsat, SES and Telesat) of a favourable decision by the FCC to its proposed scheme for the auction of some C-band frequencies. Spengler said that it would cost between $1 billion-$2 billion to place new satellites into orbit, and to supply and install around 90,000 filters to the Alliance’s cable and IP clients across the US to ensure no interference.

The Alliance expects to have to buy 8 small satellites, 4 from Intelsat and 4 from SES, to replace the lost capacity and maintain services to clients.


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