Berlin, 21 September 2020. – Satellite and network operator Intelsat has completed its C-band satellite program and ordered its seventh C-band satellite from U.S.-based manufacturer Maxar Technologies, the company announced in McLean, Virginia, on 17 September.
In June, Intelsat had announced manufacturing contracts with Maxar Technologies and Northrop Grumman for six satellites and contracted SpaceX and Arianespace to launch these satellites on four separate launch vehicles, beginning in 2022.
The new C-band satellites are a key component of a plan to clear important C-band spectrum for the deployment of 5G by telecommunication operators in the U.S. The satellite operators including Luxembourg-based SES committed to a vast spectrum clearing plan established earlier this year by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The clearing of the upper 300 MHz portion of the 500 MHz C-band used by satellite operators for video broadcasting in the U.S. involves the launch of newly fitted satellites and nationwide Earth station reconfigurations to protect the current video-ecosystem and secure the interference-free deployment of 5G in the U.S.
SES had contracted SpaceX to launch up to three new C-band satellites in August and had selected Northrop Grumman and Boeing to build four new C-band satellites in June.