SES-18 Satellite for C-Band Transition Enters Service

SES announces the operational status of SES-18 satellite, delivering C-band services and supporting critical network communications in the US. Additionally, SES Space and Defense secures a five-year contract worth USD 134 million with the US Department of Defense for X-Band satellite services.


  • SES-18 replaces SES-3's C-band payload, ensuring uninterrupted C-band broadcast and radio services for American households.
  • FCC program mandates clearance of lower 300MHz of C-band spectrum by December 2023
  • SES Space and Defense secures USD 134 million DoD contract for X-Band satellite services.

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SES-18 Satellite for C-Band Transition Enters Service

SES, a global satellite communications company, has announced that its SES-18 satellite is now delivering services at 103 degrees West. The satellite replaces the C-band payload of SES-3 and enables SES to continue providing C-band broadcast and radio services to millions of American households. Additionally, SES-18 will support critical network communications services across the United States.

Also Read: SES Launches Final Satellites as Part of C-Band Transition Plan

Deployment of C-Band Transition Satellites

Alongside the launch of SES-18, the SES-19 satellite has also reached its designated orbital slot at 135 degrees West, where it is co-located with SES-22. This achievement marks a significant milestone for SES as it completes the in-orbit deployment of five out of six new satellites as part of a larger Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program. The program aims to clear a portion of the C-band spectrum, making way for wireless operators to deploy 5G services across the contiguous United States.

C-band transition program

Under the FCC's directive, satellite operators like SES have been entrusted with the task of clearing the lower 300MHz of the C-band spectrum throughout the country by December 2023. SES said the remaining sixth satellite, SES-23, is currently held on the ground as a spare to ensure redundancy if needed.

According to the statement, SES-18 plays a vital role in this spectrum-clearing endeavour by allowing SES to transition existing services to the upper C-band frequencies while maintaining uninterrupted services for customers. By providing contractual service protections to customers receiving video services in the US, SES-18 contributes to the FCC's ambitious goals for driving 5G innovation in America.

Also Read: NTT and SES to Deliver Satellite-Based Edge and Private 5G Network

SES-18 and SES-19 were successfully launched into space in March 2023 by SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Northrop Grumman, a leading global aerospace and defence technology company, designed, manufactured, and assembled both satellites.

SES Space and Defense Secures DoD Contract for X-Band Services

In another development, SES Space and Defense, a subsidiary of SES, has secured a five-year X-Band Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) with an estimated value of USD 134 million from the US Department of Defense (DoD).

Partnership for a Comprehensive X-Band Solution

Through a partnership with industry-leading players, including integrators, satcom, and teleport operators, SES Space and Defense will provide a comprehensive global X-Band satellite solution, including capacity, teleport and network services, to meet the DoD's requirements.

Also Read: SES Successfully Launches Two More O3b mPOWER Satellites

The agreement leverages the secure GovSat-1 satellite, dedicated to government and military missions. This BPA marks an important step in integrating MILSATCOM-COMSATCOM for the space enterprise and demonstrates SES Space and Defense's commitment to delivering reliable global communications to the US government and military.

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Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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