New satellite industry profiles: operators seek 5G integration – or at least a payoff
Jul 22, 2021 by Toby Youell


Bands3.7 - 4.2 GHz
Tags3.7 - 4.2 GHz, Bezos, Branson, Satellite, SES

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many holiday-makers to cancel foreign holidays and stick to domestic “staycations”. But two billionaires in the last month have foregone foreign trips altogether and chosen “space tourism” instead. Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos trips to space are emblematic of wider excitement about the satellite industry.

Back on Earth, specifically in the field of spectrum management, the satellite industry has fought a long rear-guard fight against the mobile industry’s demands for access to their spectrum allocations. Although this is still sometimes true, such as in likely positions on C-Band going into WRC-23, satellite operators are increasingly seeing 5G as an opportunity. Satellite operators now engage in 5G standards setting meetings at the ITU and 3GPP.

One of the satellite operators we profile, SES, sees another 5G opportunity. They migrated services out of the 3.7 – 4.0 GHz band in the United States for several billion dollars.

To modify an old-saying: if you can’t beat them, join them; and if you can’t join them, make sure they pay you off.

Our updated profiles of EchoStar, Inmarsat, and SES are available to Spectrum Research Subscribers here.