PARIS—Eutelsat has endorsed a proposal from Intelsat, Intel and SES to protect C-band satellite transmissions while accelerating 5G rollout by mobile operators in the United States using a market-based approach.
“We are pleased to be joining this proposal which aims to create fair conditions for the shared use of C-band with mobile operators in the U.S. while protecting the quality of services provided to our customers over the long term,” said Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat.
The proposal, developed as a response to an FCC initiative to allocate C-band frequency for 5G services, seeks to protect the satellite services in the band, used by broadcasters, media and data companies in the United States.
It establishes a commercial and technical framework to allow terrestrial mobile operators to access spectrum in the 3,700 to 4,200 MHz band as they race to deploy 5G services.
In a joint statement, Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler and SES President/CEO Steve Collar said the proposal is the “only one” that maintains the quality of hundreds of incumbent C-band services. It protects satellite service providers’ investments in space and ground infrastructure while providing for accelerated 5G deployment.
More than 100 million U.S. households watch video and listen to audio distributed to broadcasters via C-band. The band also provides data connectivity for those in rural areas, emergency responders and U.S. governmental agencies.
The proposal calls for forming a consortium open to all satellite operators delivering C-band services in the lower 48 state region of the United States.
According to the Eutelsat, the consortium would oversee governance of the initiative, define and implement the method for clearing spectrum and serve as the sole interface for market-based transactions with those seeking to deploy 5G services in part of the C-band.