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Satnews Daily
October 17th, 2012

SES + EUTELSAT... SES Response To Eutelsat Spectrum Statement (Business)

[SatNews] SES has been granted rights to use German Ku-band orbital frequencies at the 28.5 degrees East orbital position effective from...

...October 4, 2013, onwards, pursuant to a 2005 agreement with German media service provider, Media Broadcast (“MB”) (as successor to T-Systems Business Services). MB holds a license for these frequencies issued by the Bundesnetzagentur, the German regulator, on the basis of German filings that have priority under the rules of the ITU.

The agreement will give SES the right to use, on its fleet, 500MHz of bandwidth at this orbital position adjacent to SES’s 28.2 degrees East in the frequency bands 11.45 – 11.70GHz and 12.50 – 12.75GHz in downlink and 14.00-14.50GHz in uplink. SES has procured and will launch and operate new satellites (ASTRA 2E and ASTRA 2G) at 28.2 degrees East/28.5 degrees East, along with the recently launched ASTRA 2F satellite, to replace SES’s existing fleet at 28.2 degrees East and to provide new capacity. The new satellites in this neighborhood will use the additional frequency spectrum as of October 2013 for DTH satellite television services in the U.K. and Ireland and for other services inside and outside of Europe.

Eutelsat is currently operating these frequencies on the Eurobird-1 satellite (also known as Eutelsat 28A) under a 1999 agreement with Deutsche Telekom AG (“DTAG”), the former license holder of these rights before it transferred its satellite activity to MB in 2002. Eutelsat has commenced arbitral proceedings against DTAG and MB in April 2011, claiming that it has the rights to use these frequencies beyond October 2013.

Eutelsat also disputes the grant of right of use of these frequencies by MB to SES. SES strongly disagrees with Eutelsat’s position and will vigorously defend its right to use these frequencies from October 4, 2013, on the basis, among other things, that Eutelsat’s rights to these frequencies will expire on October 3, 2013, that nothing prevents SES from using these frequencies as of October 4, 2013, and that the filings pursuant to which MB’s license for these frequencies was issued by the Bundesnetzagentur have priority under the rules of the ITU.

The launches of ASTRA 2E and ASTRA 2G are scheduled for 2013 and 2014, respectively.

The Eutelsat statement, as it appeared in SatNews yesterday, is as follows...

Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) has filed a request for arbitration against SES with the...

...International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. This request is grounded on a breach by SES of the Intersystem Coordination Agreement signed with Eutelsat in 1999, whose object is to coordinate Eutelsat’s and SES’s respective operations at several orbital positions, including 28.2 degrees East and 28.5 degrees East. The purpose of the Intersystem Coordination Agreement was notably to allow for clear broadcasting skies over Europe in the best interests of tens of millions of satellite homes. Eutelsat’s position is that the agreement between SES and Media Broadcast, signed seven years ago, and only disclosed by SES in its release of October 1, 2012, violates the terms agreed in the 1999 Intersystem Coordination Agreement, specifically SES’s commitment to respect Eutelsat’s operations at 28.5 degrees East.