Intelsat, one of the world's largest integrated satellite and terrestrial networks operator, has announced the successful completion of the clearing of C-band frequencies. Intelsat stated that the accomplishment comes well ahead of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) deadline, bringing substantial financial benefits they will receive as a result.
Intelsat has announced that it will receive almost USD 3.7 billion in the fourth quarter of the year as a result of completing the C-band frequency clearing. The completion of the C-band transition not only allows for broader 5G services in the United States but also strengthens Intelsat's strategic financial position.
The FCC's C-Band Transition Order outlined a requirement to clear the spectrum by December 2025. However, satellite operators were offered incentive payments if they completed the clearance before December 2023. Intelsat said with the validated certification now complete, it has met this requirement and is now eligible for incentive payments.
Allocating the Gains
According to Intelsat, it will receive USD 3.67 billion, which will be used in a balanced manner. Fifty percent of the proceeds will be used to reduce the company's debt and comply with its debt covenants. The remaining funds will allow Intelsat to explore various options that can create value for its stakeholders.
"The Intelsat team is well positioned to remain a leader in the satellite communications industry as we continue transforming the company for the future," stated Intelsat.
Industry Landscape and Impact
Telesat in July and SES in the second week of August already announced completing C-Band Cleaning, paving the way for 5G rollout in the US, as reported by TelecomTalk. With this, US telco Verizon having gained early access to the entire 5G C-Band spectrum, started deploying the additional spectrum, enhancing its coverage and capacity in the US.