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Market Research Report

U.S. C-band Repurposing for 5G: Impacts and Analysis

Published by Northern Sky Research, LLC Product code 903746
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U.S. C-band Repurposing for 5G: Impacts and Analysis
Published: August 7, 2019 Content info:

NSR's U.S. C-Band Repurposing for 5G: Impacts and Analysis report is the most comprehensive and complete analysis for the U.S. C-Band Spectrum repurposing process. Building on over 19 years of regular NSR reporting and in-depth data gathering and forecasting for U.S. C-Band markets, the report assesses all the key elements behind the spectrum reallocation process:

  • Regulatory background
  • The need to clear spectrum
  • Sharing proposals and precedents
  • Probability of occurrence
  • Market dynamics including detailed supply-demand analysis and market share
  • Actions required to free up spectrum and the associated costs
  • Spectrum valuation and impact on satellite operator's financials

While repurposing of mid-band spectrum has created uncertainty for the satellite Industry in the U.S. and elsewhere, this reports provides clarity on the most probable outcomes for this process in North America and the risk for contagion globally. It is a "must have" report for anyone seeking bottom line data and analysis on the urgent need to repurpose C-Band spectrum, the most probable future line of events and the impact on the satellite industry.



The core of NSR's detailed assessment is rooted in bottom-up methodology followed to assess the different elements influencing the process (supply, demand, market share, repurposing plan, costs of repurposing, spectrum value). NSR delivers the widest and most detailed coverage of the repurposing process, leveraging its historical database (longest-running forecast for C-Band supply and demand over the U.S.), the extensive library of reports covering in detail each relevant segment (Video, Mobility, Enterprise Data, Ground Segment, Satellite Manufacturing and Launch, etc.) and the deep understanding of the relevant market dynamics.


Key Questions Answered in this NSR Report:

  • What is the most probable decision from the FCC in repurposing C-Band spectrum?
  • How much spectrum can be repurposed, and what are the expected auction proceeds in the next 10 years?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the main repurposing proposals?
  • What is the regulatory framework for C-Band users today, and how this impacts spectrum repurposing?
  • What are the key supply-demand dynamics today, and how they will vary with different tranches of C-Band spectrum being reallocated?
  • What is the market share for each satellite operator (demand and supply), and what is the most probable scenario for sharing the proceeds?
  • How much would it cost to free up spectrum and protect current users from interference from 5G signals?
  • At what rates would C-Band spectrum be valued?
  • What is the financial impact for each satellite operator with respect to the auction proceeds?
  • Is there a risk for contagion into other countries? Is the C-Band Alliance proposal replicable in other regions?

Bottom Line: Will the satellite industry emerge as a winner or loser in this C-Band repurposing process?

Key Features

NSR's U.S. C-Band Repurposing for 5G: Impacts and Analysis is based on long standing methodologies that have been validated and improved over the years on NSRs' extensive library of reports. NSR rigorously tracks the public announcements of all major players across the value chain and has carried extensive interviews to build base year data and carefully formulate forecast data.


Every active satellite with C-Band supply over CONU.S. and future orders are tracked to generate an accurate supply assessment. Demand is built up from NSR's extensive coverage on vertical-specific reports. NSR's GSCSD16, VBSM17, WBS13, MSM7, ASM7, GMSC15 reports are used to generate the demand forecast for each specific vertical. Market Share analysis is based on the assessment of channels broadcasted per satellite operator, fill rate per satellite and tracking key deals in the region for each satellite operator.

NSR applies its knowledge on supply-demand dynamics to assess the potential for further spectrum reassignments following network optimization (adoption of enhanced compression and transmission standards) and migration to other bands. Based on NSR's understanding of Ground Segment and Space Segment dynamics and leveraging NSR'S CSGS3 and SMLS9 reports, a bottom-up analysis of repurposing costs is presented. Spectrum valuation and analysis of share of proceeds to the satellite operators currently leasing out the C-band capacity in CONU.S., is presented, building upon the financial practice area at the firm.

Primary Elements of the Report Include:

  • Legal background and industry trend analysis including NSR's bottom line assessment on the most probable FCC decision on C-Band repurposing.
  • An exhaustive supply-demand analysis where the reader can understand the different possibilities for spectrum repurposing along the next 10 years and the impact on the industry (fill-rates, revenues, pricing, etc.).
  • A bottom-up cost estimate explaining the main actions required and the main cost drivers and risks associated (timeline, cost overruns, etc.) with the repurposing.
  • A detailed analysis of the financial impact following a step by step guide where the reader understands each assumption.
  • Includes Excel sheets and CSV file with all key data points, tables and charts.
  • Step-by-step methodology section for clearer understanding of the forecasts.
  • All clients of the U.S. C-Band Spectrum Repurposing for 5G: Impacts and Analysis report are also entitled to a FREE half-day of consulting time with an NSR analyst. This time can be used to review report findings, interpret market forecasts and determine how the report information applies to your company's business model

The NSR Difference

NSR is the most referenced independent market analyst firm for the Satellite Communications industry. Leveraging its longest-standing forecast of the C-Band market in the U.S., the report offers the most accurate picture of the market today and where it is headed over the long terms.

With data from NSR's library of reports covering each key segment, combined with the company's signature holistic analysis, this report is the go-to tool for in-depth understanding of factors influencing C-Band repurposing.

No other firm has the depth provided by NSR. Building upon a profound understanding of factors influencing C-Band repurposing.

No other firm has the depth provided by NSR. Building upon a profound understanding of all the building blocks of the industry ranging from the legal framework, Satellite Operators, Service Integrators, key customers, demand drivers, Ground Segment, and Satellite Manufacturing and Launch; the report provides an honest and independent assessment of the market dynamics, the different proposals and the impact of the repurposing for the different stakeholders. The reader is able to navigate specific supply and demand trends, market share and different scenarios for the cost of the repurposing, spectrum valuation and the impact on satellite operators, equipment vendors, C-Band users and the industry overall.

Unique NSR coverage in this report includes:

  • Widest coverage of factors impacting C-Band repurposing of any market research report available
  • Deepest understanding of the dynamics of the market of any market of any market research report
  • Critical analysis of the different proposals pointing out strengths and weaknesses
  • Most detailed Supply-Demand dynamics analysis including scenarios for different phases of repurposing, fill-rate forecast, pricing forecast and actions required for a second repurposing totaling 400 MHz
  • Bottom up analysis for repurposing costs detailing each action required with associated cost
  • Scenario based analysis for spectrum valuation and impact on Satellite Operator's financials
  • Detailed analysis on contagion risks

Who Should Purchase this Report?

  • Investment Community
  • Satellite Operators
  • 5G Community
  • Regulators and Government Agencies
  • Telecom Operators
  • C-Band Users
  • Satellite Infrastructure Vendors
  • Anyone Seeking a Detailed, Actionable Assessment of the U.S. C-Band Repurposing Potential

Companies and Organizations Mentioned in the Report

Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat, Telesat, C-Band Alliance, FCC, Hispasat, StarOne, ABS

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction and Review

Definitions - Market Forecast

Definitions - Acronyms

Executive Summary

  • 1.Background on C-Band Repurposing
  • 1.1.Definitions
  • 1.2.Sharing Proposal
  • 1.3.Probability of Occurrence of a Secondary Transaction

2. CONUS C-Band Market Dynamics

  • 2.1.Baseline Demand, Supply and Pricing Forecast
  • 2.2.Baseline Pricing for Video Distribution
  • 2.3.Market Share
  • 2.4.Phase 2 Repurposing Demand, Supply and Pricing Forecast

3. Measuring the Impact of Repurposing

  • 3.1.Baseline Repurposing Costs - Ground Segment
  • 3.2.Baseline Repurposing Costs - Space Segment
  • 3.3.Phase 2 Repurposing Costs

4. Financial Impact Analysis

  • 4.1.Spectrum Valuation: Scenarios and Recommendations
  • 4.2.Financial Scenarios: Assumptions and Sensitivity Analysis
  • 4.3.Impact/Contagion on Other Markets

List of Exhibits

  • ES1: CONUS Baseline Leased C-band Revenues by Application
  • ES2: CONUS Phase-2 C-band TPE Supply and Demand
  • ES3: CONUS Phase 2 Leased C-band Revenues by Application
  • ES4: CONUS Market Share of Leased C-band, 2018
  • ES5: Proceeds to CBA Under Spectrum Clearance Scenarios ($0.35/MHz-Pop Valuation)
  • ES6: Ratio PV (Net Proceeds)/EBITDA (FY2018) for Operators Under CBA

1.Probability of Occurrence of a Secondary Transaction: Positives and Deterrents


  • 2.1.CONUS Baseline C-band TPE Demand by Application
  • 2.2.CONUS Baseline Leased C-band Revenues by Application
  • 2.3.CONUS Baseline C-band TPEs Supply and Demand
  • 2.4.CONUS Baseline Leased C-band Pricing by Application
  • 2.5.CONUS Baseline Leased C-band Pricing for Distribution with Min and Max Limits
  • 2.6.CONUS Market Share of Leased C-band, 2018
  • 2.7.CONUS Market Share of C-band Supply, 2018
  • 2.8.CONUS Phase-2 C-band TPE Demand by Application
  • 2.9.CONUS Phase-2 Leased C-band Revenues by Application
  • 2.10.Video Distribution Channel to TPE Ratio (2018-2028)
  • 2.11.CONUS Phase-2 C-band TPE Supply and Demand
  • 2.12.CONUS Baseline Leased C-band Pricing by Application, Phase 2

3.Repurposing Costs

  • 3.1.Baseline Repurposing Costs - Additional Filters
  • 3.2.Baseline Repurposing Costs - Frequency/Polarization Changes
  • 3.3.Baseline Repurposing Costs - Satellite Repointing Changes
  • 3.4.Baseline Repurposing Costs - Antenna Seeding and Antenna Replacement
  • 3.5.Baseline Repurposing Costs - Extreme Cases
  • 3.6.Baseline Repurposing Costs - Space Segment
  • 3.7.Baseline Repurposing Costs - Total Space and Ground Segment
  • 3.8.Phase 2 Repurposing Costs - Additional Filters
  • 3.9.Phase 2 Repurposing Costs - Frequency/Polarization Changes
  • 3.10.Phase 2 Repurposing Costs - Satellite Repointing Changes
  • 3.11.Phase 2 Repurposing Costs - Antenna Seeding and Antenna Replacement
  • 3.12.Phase 2 Repurposing Costs - Extreme Cases
  • 3.13.Phase 2 Repurposing Costs - Video Equipment
  • 3.14.Phase 2 Repurposing Costs - Total Ground Segment Costs

4.Section 4

  • 4.1.MHz Clearance Scenarios and Timeline
  • 4.2.Spectrum Bids Precedents Around the World
  • 4.3.Spectrum Valuation - Scenario Key Results and Proceeds to Each Operator
  • 4.4.Scenario 1A - Key Parameters and Reasoning
  • 4.5.Scenario 1B - Key Parameters and Reasoning
  • 4.6.Scenario 2A - Key Parameters and Reasoning
  • 4.7.Scenario 2B - Key Parameters and Reasoning
  • 4.8.Ratio PV (Net Proceeds)/EBITDA (FY2018) for Operators Under CBA
  • 4.9.Operator and Corresponding PV (Net Proceeds)/EBITDA (FY2018) Range
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