SES announces today the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has validated the certification of SES’s Phase II accelerated C-band clearing and relocation activities. With this milestone, and following the successful completion of its Phase I activities in 2021, SES has fulfilled its commitment to the FCC’s programme to clear a portion of the C-band to allow the rapid rollout of 5G services across the United States.
With the help of trusted partners across the U.S., SES has completed all of its Phase II C-band clearing and relocation requirements and all transition activities put forth in its Transition Plan. Phase II activities included:
· Launching five new satellites to continue enabling the broadcast delivery of digital television to nearly 120 million TV homes, as well as providing critical data services, in the upper 200 MHz of the C-band (4000-4200 MHz).
· Repacking all of its C-band downlink services in the continental United States (CONUS) into the upper 200 MHz of the C-band and relocating all associated Incumbent Earth Stations throughout CONUS into the upper 200 MHz of the C-band.
· Making all necessary equipment changes to associated Incumbent Earth Stations in CONUS to allow the operators of such Incumbent Earth Stations to receive substantially the same service during and after the transition as they were able to receive before the transition, including providing passband filters to block signals from the 3700-4000 MHz band to all associated Incumbent Earth Stations in CONUS.
· Modifying telemetry, tracking, and control (TT&C) operations to receive telemetry above the 4000 MHz band and completing gateway consolidation to its Brewster and Hawley facilities.
In accordance with the FCC Report and Order issued on 3 March 2020, SES has satisfied the Phase II relocation requirements in advance of the 5 December 2023 deadline and is now eligible to receive the accelerated relocation payment of $2.99 billion (before tax of 18-19%). SES expects this payment to be made in Q4 2023. SES received the FCC validation of its Phase I accelerated C-band-clearing activities in 2021 and secured the first accelerated relocation payment of $1 billion in the subsequent year.
“We are incredibly proud to meet the FCC’s ambitious Phase II deadline ahead of schedule, and it speaks to the remarkable work and caliber of the SES team, our trusted partners, and our network of vendors over the last five years.” said Ruy Pinto, CEO at SES. “Beyond executing a major strategic project that enables the FCC to usher in the next generation of 5G connectivity and innovation in the United States, I am pleased to say we have placed our customers’ interests first and carefully transitioned our customers to ensure they will be able to continue delivering uninterrupted C-band broadcast and radio services to millions of American homes.”
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