Advanced Television

FCC chairman “optimistic” on C-band decision

September 25, 2019

By Chris Forrester

FCC chairman Ajit Pai is optimistic that there will be “results to show” this autumn on the issue of the C-Band Alliance’s (CBA) plan to auction some of its spectrum over the US for 5G repurposing.

Pai was addressing delegates at America’s Spectrum Management Conference in Washington DC on September 24th. He said: ˜We’re also working on the complicated task of freeing up spectrum for 5G in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band, commonly called the C-Band. This is a critical band for 5G, and I’m optimistic that we will have results to show on this front this fall.˜

One of the three current members of the C-Band Alliance saw healthy share value gains on the news. Luxembourg-based SES – which controls the SES Americom fleet of satellites over the US – saw a 4 per cent gain to €15.85 and values hit €15.96 at one point on September 24th.

Intelsat, which has seen significant gains over the past week (from $22.60 to $24.14) fell back slightly (1.05 per cent) to $23.55 but remains well ahead of its position one month ago ($18.74) and investors are still digesting last week’s news that Intelsat is suing OneWeb alleging fraud and conspiracy.

Investment bank Exane/BNPP said: “Pai comments suggests the FCC is to address C band at the latest at its December 12th meeting and possibly earlier (November 19th, October 25th). This supports our view that newsflow on C-band is imminent. We expect it to be positive.”

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