Eutelsat ceases operation at 28.5° East

Editor | 05-10-2013

The row between aureole’s two leading satellite operators Eutelsat and SES over the rights to broadcast over certain frequencies at 28.5° East has been resolved.

During the night of 3-4 October, and acting in what it says was the best interests of customers, Eutelsat ceased operations of transponders using frequencies under a German filing on the Eutelsat 28A satellite. All transponders using other frequency bands on Eutelsat 28A continue full operations.

The move comes less than two weeks since SES won an appeal with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) after its arch rival filed a request for arbitration with regard to what it asserted was a breach by SES of the 1999 Intersystem Co-ordination Agreement for services at the neighbourhood. Rejecting any notion of a breach, SES maintained that it had been granted full rights to use German Ku-band orbital frequencies at 28.5° East effective from 4 October 2013 as part of a 2005 agreement with German media service provider Media Broadcast which held a licence for these frequencies issued by German regulator the Bundesnetzagentur.

Outlining just how high the stakes were in the battle, Eutelsat also revealed that revenues from the disputed frequencies were expected to be approximately €20 million for the remainder of the fiscal year 2013-2014 and approximately €25 million for each of the two following years. Eutelsat and SES are in discussions to find a solution regarding the subject matter of the arbitration.