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Sinclair Inks Deal With USSI Global for C-Band Transition Services

USSI Global C-band
(Image credit: USSI Global)

HUNT VALLEY, Md.—Sinclair Broadcast Group has selected USSI Global to modernize its satellite network to ensure compliance with the FCC’s C-band satellite spectrum transition.

The pair inked a three-year deal during which time USSI Global will inspect and upgrade Sinclair’s large satellite infrastructure. All work is expected to be completed before the FCC’s Dec. 2023 Phase II deadline, USSI Global said.

The company will also provide Sinclair with a suite of managed services to maintain its satellite network during the transition and after with the goal of reducing costs and providing a consistent level of maintenance and service.

“Similar to the TV spectrum repack initiative that just ended, the C-band spectrum transition is a technically challenging and multi-layered procedure that will affect tens of thousands of earth station antennas,” said Del Parks, CTO and senior vice president, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

“USSI Global offers the comprehensive project management experience required to navigate Sinclair through what will be a very time-sensitive and labor-intensive transition, while ensuring our satellite services continue to operate without interruption.”

Sinclair currently operates 97 satellite facilities around the country, providing uplink and downlink services for the 190 stations it owns, operates or provides with services, USSI Global said. 

The FCC is clearing 300 MHz of C-band’s 500 MHz band for 5G mobile services. C-Band operators cleared will be relocated to the remaining 200 MHz. 

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USSI Global will assign a large team of RF field engineers and support staff to manage each phase of the Sinclair project, making possible immediate response to issues as well as accelerating repairs thereby limiting service disruptions, the company said.

USSI Global’s technical management strategy includes system design and integration, product procurement, commissioning and post-sales support. The company will guide Sinclair technicians through all system changes, which involves retuning nearly 500 satellite systems and modernizing satellite dishes, filters, IRDs and antennas across the group’s facilities, USSI Global said.

“Modernization of the satellite infrastructure requires a strategic partner that understands everything from re-grounding systems to maximizing the performance of the infrastructure,” said Harvey Arnold, vice president of Engineering, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

“USSI Global’s project management experience will ensure we meet challenging deadlines, while their technical knowledge will optimize our satellite contribution and distribution services upon moving to a new C-band frequency.”

More information is available on the company’s website.  

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.