SES has selected SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA) to launch satellites into orbit as part of the company’s C-band clearing plan, as well as their contribution to facilitate 5G across America.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch two C-band satellites built by Northrop Grumman to rapidly launch a contingency satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida in 2022 allowing SES to meet the FCC’s time-critical objective to roll out 5G services across the United States.
ULA’s Atlas V rocket will be launched in the same year.
These satellites will enable SES to clear 280MHz of mid-band spectrum for 5G use while seamlessly migrating SES’s existing C-band customers and ensuring the continued delivery of digital television to nearly 120 million American TV homes and other critical data services.
“Clearing mid-band spectrum and protecting our broadcast customers to ensure business continuity is a significant undertaking and we absolutely need to be working with the right partners,” said Steve Collar, CEO at SES.
Speaking on the extended partnership with SpaceX, Collar said: “We have a deep and trusted relationship with SpaceX having been the first to launch a commercial satellite with them and subsequently the first commercial company to adopt the flight-proven booster and we could not be more confident in their ability to deliver on this time-critical mission.”
The Luxembourg-based operator also has a long-standing alliance with ULA and is pleased to task the company with meeting the FCC’s targets. “We are thrilled to be working with ULA again and partnering to meet the FCC’s ambitious timeline for the accelerated clearing of C-band spectrum.”