Satellite Update

ICO Satellite Services requested modification of its current authorization to access the United States market using its two non-geostationary (NGSO) Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) system to substitute a single geostationary IGSO) satellite for the NGSO system. The proposed GSO satellite would be located at 91 degrees w
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ICO Satellite Services requested modification of its current authorization to access the United States market using its two non-geostationary (NGSO) Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) system to substitute a single geostationary IGSO) satellite for the NGSO system. The proposed GSO satellite would be located at 91 degrees west longitude (WL) and provide MSS services to the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The satellite would use a portion of the 2000-2020 MHz uplink and 2180-220 MHz downlink bands available to it under the original authorization for links between the satellite and user terminals.

ICO requested permission to operate feeder links and tracking, telemetry and control (TT&C) functions for the GSO MSS system using Ka-band frequencies. ICO also asked for a waiver of FCC rules to allow use of C-band frequencies for TT&C during the transfer orbit and in the event of spacecraft emergencies. For additional information on the ICO application, see FCC Report SAT-00269.

The FCC granted a request by Globalstar to reconfigure the constellation of its in-service Globalstar satellites as a 40-satellite Walker array at the previously authorized orbital altitude of 1414 km. Intelsat LLC was allowed to immediately begin drifting its INTELSAT 605 satellite from 77 degrees WL to 174 degrees EL. For more information on these and other satellite applications granted, see FCC Report SAT-00270.

Columbia Communications was allowed to make certain technical changes to its C-band replacement satellite at 37.5 degrees WL. The FCC deferred action on a request by Columbia to switch the milestone schedule of its 37.5 degrees WL authorization with the schedule for its authorization at 47 degrees WL. These actions "allow Columbia the flexibility to implement its business plans without impairing service to its customers" according to the FCC. The technical changes include combining two North American beams and two South American beams into single beams for North American and South America. Columbia also changed the switching and transponder arrangements to allow for full frequency reuse on all beams. AMC-12 at 37.5 degrees will utilize 72 C-Band transponders, each with 36 MHz of bandwidth, and three coverage area beams, one for North America, one for South America and one for Europe and Africa.

The FCC Order and Authorization allowing the changes provides more detail on the technical changes. It also rejects an argument by New Skies that the FCC condition the grant on Columbia completing coordination of AMC-12 with New Skies NSS-806 C-band satellite.

"The Commission found that several of New Skies' satellites, including NSS-806, did not comply with all of the Commission's technical rules. Nevertheless, because there were no U.S.-licensed satellites operating two degrees away from NSS-806 at the time, the Commission granted New Skies conditional waivers of the technical rules NSS-806 did not meet. The condition provided that earth stations operating with NSS-806 must do so on a non-harmful interference basis with respect to any future adjacent two-degree spacing compliant satellite authorized to serve the Unites States in the event that New Skies and the adjacent satellite operator could not, in good faith, reach a coordination agreement," according to the Order.

The FCC authorized Columbia to continue to operate the Satcom C-1 satellite at 37.5 degrees WL until AMC-12 is launched and brought into operation.

For additional information, see the FCC Order and Authorization DA 05-244.