SES announced Tuesday its selection of Northrop Grumman and Boeing to build four new satellites as part of an accelerated C-band clearing plan to help address the Federal Communications Commission’s 5G service rollout objectives.
“To meet our deadlines to clear C-band spectrum, we have selected established American satellite manufacturers in Northrop Grumman and Boeing with their focus on heritage, reliability and minimal risk to build these four satellites, enabling us to fully support the FCC’s 5G Fast initiative,” SES CEO Steve Collar said.
Northrop will provide two GeoStar-3 satellites, SES-18 and SES-19, that will integrate a C-band payload to support customer experience. Both satellites will be designed, assembled and tested in Dulles, Va.
Boeing will manufacture SES-20 and SES-21 all-electric 702SP satellites in Los Angeles. The new C-band satellites will enable SES to clear 280 MHz of mid-band spectrum for 5G use and seamlessly migrate SES’s existing C-band customers.
Each satellite will have 10 primary transponders of 36 MHz plus back-up tubes to enable the broadcast delivery of digital television to more than 120 million TV homes. In addition, the satellites provide critical data services.
The satellites are projected to launch in 2022 and will be positioned at 103 degrees West, 131 degrees West and 135 degrees West orbital slots. The cost of manufacturing these four satellites is part of the $1.6 billion investment envelope that SES has announced in May.
“Given the FCC’s strong leadership in providing for accelerated clearing of precious C-band spectrum in the U.S., our focus is on delivering on our commitment and making the spectrum available in the shortest possible time while ensuring that we protect the broadcast customers and communities that we have built over 35 years,” Collar added.
SES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially-proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system.
By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators and content owners. SES’s video network carries over 8,300 channels and has an unparalleled reach of 367 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content.