Inmarsat has to move one of its Teleports from the Netherlands to Greece. It has been arguing its case before a Dutch court to stay in the Netherlands and is seeking an alternate Greek licence to establish an Earth station in Greece.
Inmarsat is currently using C-band frequencies in the Netherlands, but the authorities are seeking to repurpose the bandwidth for 5G services. Inmarsat will not benefit from the sell-off of C-band spectrum.
Currently, Inmarsat’s Teleport is near the village of Burum, and the London-based satellite operator says it will continue operating from Burum until a new licence/location is agreed. Inmarsat uses 126 MHz of the C-band.
The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, in a recent Advisory Committee report on the 3.5 GHz frequency band used in the Netherlands, suggested various methods of selling off the spectrum while at the same time maintaining public safety services.
Inmarsat had taken the Dutch government to court in 2021. However, in June, the Netherlands suspended the proposed auction plan for 3.5 GHz/5G spectrum. The plan now is to auction the spectrum and see – at least some of the frequencies – in use by 5G operators by December 2023.
The advice is that Inmarsat can retain a smaller (80 MHz) slice of the spectrum until such time as essential services are in place.
The Dutch statement says: “The committee recommends that the satellite company Inmarsat move its specific services in this band to a location in Greece provided by them. The originally intended frequency space (300 Megahertz) for national mobile communication in this band, such as 5G, will be available after an auction on 1 December 2023. As long as the foreign location is not yet operational (the aim is as of 1 January 2024), the satellite company can still have limited space (80 Megahertz) to continue its activities”.
“The recommendations from the Advisory Committee focus on the protection of all Inmarsat’s safety…