Luxembourg/Paris – SES (NYSE Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG) and Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) have concluded a series of agreements including a comprehensive settlement of legal proceedings concerning the right to operate at the 28.5 degrees East orbital position and containing long-term commercial as well as frequency coordination elements.
The first agreement ends the arbitral procedure between Eutelsat and SES that was initiated in October 2012 under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris. The dispute concerned a right of use of 500 MHz spectrum at the 28.5 degrees East orbital position. Eutelsat ceased to operate this spectrum on 3 October 2013 and SES has operated this spectrum since that date. Thedispute over this right of use has now been resolved, with SES continuing to operate its satellites at this location, and Eutelsat independently commercialising part of the capacity of the previously disputed frequencies.
According to the second agreement between both companies, Eutelsat has therefore contracted long-term satellite capacity on the SES satellite fleet at the 28.5 degrees East orbital position. Eutelsat will commercialise over Europe on the SES fleet 125 MHz (eight transponders) of the formerly disputed 500 MHz. Eutelsat will also commercialise on the SES fleet the 250 MHz (12 transponders) which was not the subject of the legal proceedings. The 20 transponders will be operated on three new satellites which SES is deploying at the 28.2/28.5 degrees East neighbourhood – ASTRA 2F, ASTRA 2E and ASTRA 2G – of which the first two have been launched and are operational, while the third is planned for a launch later this year.
The third agreement between the two companies addresses technical frequency coordination under the rules of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It will allow both parties an optimised use of their respective spectrum at a number of orbital positions over Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It confirms and clarifies in technical terms the geographic coverage and transmission power levels for frequencies at these positions.