Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat have created the C-Band Alliance (CBA), which the satellite operators said will pave the way for the deployment of 5G services in the US.

Satellite operators form C-Band Alliance

New alliance will look for breakthrough market-based approach to managing and funding spectrum

Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat have announced the creation of a consortium called the C-Band Alliance (CBA).

The CBA, said the companies, is designed to act as a facilitator as described in a recent US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proceeding featuring the companies’ market-based proposal to clear a portion of C-band spectrum in the US.

The formation of the alliance is a “significant achievement” and demonstrates the industry alignment necessary to make this mid-band spectrum available quickly, thus supporting the US objective of winning the race to introduce terrestrial 5G services, the companies added.

The market-based proposal was developed in response to a proceeding initiated by the FCC in August last year, which led to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that was formally approved by the FCC on July 12 this year and published in the Federal Register of 30 August 2018.

The proposal reflects the unique US telecommunications environment, and aims to protect the quality and reliability of the extensive services provided by satellite operators in the C-band spectrum to US broadcasters, media and data companies. The proposal establishes a commercial and technical framework that would enable terrestrial mobile operators to quickly access spectrum in a portion of the 3700-4200MHz frequency band in the US, speeding the deployment of next-generation 5G services.

The proposal specifies the use of a consortium — now known as the CBA — to undertake the technical and commercial implementation of the spectrum clearing process. This process is necessary to repurpose the C-band spectrum for use in a 5G environment.

The alliance will be led, effective immediately, by Bill Tolpegin, currently CEO of OTA Broadcasting, who will serve as CEO of CBA.

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