SES Completes C-Band Launch Program With SpaceX
SES’s SES-18 and SES-19 satellites have been successfully launched in what it is set to be a busy year of launches for the operator. The satellites, designed and built by Northrop Grumman were launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Friday, March 17. They are the fourth and fifth, and final satellites to be launched as part of SES’s C-band transition plan. SES announced the successful launch on March 18.
The launch of these two satellites follow the launch of SES-22 in June 2022 by SpaceX and the tandem launch of SES-20 and SES-21 in October 2022 by ULA. Since 2020, SES, along with other satellite operators, has been clearing 300 MHz of C-band spectrum and transitioning customer services to the remaining allocated 200 MHz of spectrum by launching new satellites, building new ground stations and sending technicians across the country to install new filters on customers’ antennas. This was part of the FCC’s initiative to free up the lower 300 MHz of C-band spectrum for 5G.
“This successful launch marks one of the last remaining milestones on our journey to clear a portion of the C-band, and we are incredibly grateful to Northrop Grumman, SpaceX, and all of our partners who helped make this plan a reality. We are now on the home stretch in protecting our customers’ broadcasts while freeing crucial 5G spectrum and we look forward to successfully concluding our work well before the FCC’s December 2023 accelerated clearing deadline,” Steve Collar, CEO of SES, said in a statement.