June 29, 2022 – SES announced today that the SES-22 satellite was successfully launched into space onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, United States. The first of SES’s C-band satellites dedicated to freeing up the lower 300 MHz of C-band spectrum is built by Thales Alenia Space, and will operate in the 135 degrees West orbital slot. It will deliver TV and radio to millions of American homes and provide other critical data transmission services. SES-22 is expected to start operations by early August 2022.
The launch of SES-22 is part of a broader Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program to clear a portion of C-band spectrum to enable wireless operators to deploy 5G services across the contiguous US (CONUS). In response to a mandate from the FCC, satellite operators such as SES are required to transition their existing services from the lower 300 MHz to the upper 200 MHz of C-band spectrum to make room for 5G. To meet the FCC’s accelerated deadline of clearing C-band spectrum across the US by December 2023 while maintaining uninterrupted services, SES will launch five satellites – SES-18, SES-19, SES-20, SES-21 and SES-22 in 2022.