SES-21 will enable SES to continue delivering C-band broadcast services to millions of American homes and provide critical network communications services.
SES has announced that the new SES-21 satellite became operational at the orbital position of 131 degrees West, after launching on October 4, 2022.
Upon reaching its final fixed position and completing testing, SES will begin transitioning customers to the new satellite. SES-21 will enable SES to continue delivering C-band broadcast and radio services to millions of American homes, as well as provide other critical network communications services to the United States.
SES-21 was launched by United Launch Alliance (ULA) in tandem with SES-20 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. SES-20 and SES-21 are highly efficient all-electric 702SP satellites manufactured and assembled in Los Angeles by Boeing.
SES is launching five satellites as part of a broader Federal Communications Commission (FCC) programme to clear a portion of C-band spectrum to enable wireless operators to deploy 5G services across the contiguous US (CONUS). Satellite operators, including SES, have been tasked by the FCC to clear the lower 300MHz of C-band spectrum throughout the CONUS by December 2023. SES-21 is critical to that effort, enabling SES to transition existing services to the upper C-band frequencies while maintaining uninterrupted services for customers.
SES-20, the other SES satellite launched by ULA in October, is scheduled to go into service before the end of the year.
Ruy Pinto, Chief Technology Officer at SES, said: We are excited that SES-21 is now ready to serve our customers in the United States, and we would like to thank our partners at Boeing and ULA for their hard work in helping SES achieve this milestone. ULAs Atlas V rocket delivered SES-20 and SES-21 accurately to a near-geosynchronous orbit that enabled us to get SES-21 into service very quickly.