The leading satellite operators Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat have joined forces to create a consortium called the C-Band Alliance (CBA).
Headed by Bill Tolpegin (CEO, currently CEO of OTA Broadcasting) and Preston Padden (head of advocacy and government relations), it will facilitate clearing of US mid-band spectrum for 5G while protecting US content distribution and data networks.
In a statement, the operators say the CBA is designed to act as a facilitator as described in a recent FCC proceeding featuring the companies’ market-based proposal to clear a portion of C-band spectrum in the US. The formation of the CBA 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 market-based proposal was developed in response to a proceeding initiated by the FCC in August 2017 and formally approved by the FCC this July. It 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 U.S. broadcasters, media, and data companies. It also establishes a commercial and technical framework that would enable terrestrial mobile operators to quickly access spectrum in a portion of the 3,700 to 4,200 MHz frequency band in the US, speeding the deployment of next-generation 5G services.
The CBA will undertake the technical and commercial implementation of the spectrum clearing process. Its establishment signifies that the satellite operators delivering the vast majority of satellite C-band services in the US have agreed upon the key technical and commercial steps necessary to enable commercial implementation of the spectrum clearing process. The CBA also ensures that customer services are protected from potential interference as new wireless services are introduced into the cleared portion of the spectrum.