SES: “Phase 1 of C-band changes near-completion”

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SES has filed its quarterly status report to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) saying that it has completed “nearly all” of the Phase 1 satellite transitions, and will complete the task by August 31st 2021.

Moreover, SES says it has installed approximately 60 per cent of the antenna filters associated with its Phase 1 transition schedule. The remaining Phase 1 antennas will also be installed no later than August 31st.

The report covers the period from March 16th to June 15th. SES states: “We remain on track and in some cases are ahead of the schedule set out in our October 28th 2020 revised Transition Plan.”

SES reported to the FCC that the satellite-based service transition for radio broadcasts is complete, and television signals (‘broadcast’) will wrap in June. Cable Network-based services should wrap by the end of August. There’s still some Phase 1 work to be done on antenna filters but these tasks should also complete by the end of August. For example, all of the SES-associated independent Earth stations designated to receive compression equipment have received their equipment and 96 per cent have their equipment installed.

The fleet of replacement satellites needed to maintain services are also on schedule: “Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Thales have successfully completed Critical Design Reviews (“CDR”) for SES-18, SES-19, SES-20, SES-21 and SES-22 satellites,” said SES. Launch contracts in place will see the first four of these satellite launched in 2022.

“SES has completed 93 per cent of our Phase 1 and 4 percent of our Phase 2 service transitions on our satellites. Phase 1 clears the 120 MHz of C-band which then indicates that SES is well underway to meet the December 2021 timeline,” said the operator. “Not helping matters generally are the Covid restrictions, but SES told the FCC that these delays have not impacted our overall transition timeline. In all cases, we have worked with the impacted parties to develop workarounds, including rearranging schedules, to mitigate the effects of these impacts to our overall transition schedule”.


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