SES announces successful launch of fourth, fifth C-band satellites | Satellite | News | Rapid TV News
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In what the satellite operator says marks the final launch milestone in its C-band transition plan, SES has revealed that the SES-18 and SES-19 satellites, designed and assembled by Northrop Grumman, were successfully launched by SpaceX’s Falcon 9.
SES SES 18 SES 19 20March2023
The mission took place from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 19:38 local time on 17 March and the two American-made satellites are the fourth and fifth satellites to be launched as part of SES’s C-band transition plan, following the launch of SES-22 in June 2022 and the tandem launch of SES-20 and SES-21 in October 2022.

SES-18 and SES-19 are described as being essential parts of SES’s plan to achieve the programme of US comms and broadcast regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clear C-band spectrum to enable wireless operators to deploy 5G services across the contiguous US (CONUS) while ensuring that SES’s existing customers continue to enjoy uninterrupted TV, radio, and critical data transmission services.

Satellite operators have been clearing 300 MHz of C-band spectrum since 2020, transitioning customer services to the remaining allocated 200 MHz of spectrum by launching new satellites, building new ground stations and install new filters on customers’ antennas.

By providing contractual service protections to customers who receive video services in the US, SES says the two new satellites will enable SES to safely clear C-band spectrum to help accomplish the FCC’s goals for American 5G . SES-18 is expected to begin operation in June 2023 at 103 degrees West replacing SES-3 C-band payload and SES-19 will be co-located with SES-22 at 135 degrees West.

“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,” said SES CEO Steve Collar. “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.”