Inmarsat and Solaris Awarded S-band Spectrum

The European Commission has selected two companies, Inmarsat and Solaris Mobile, from a shortlist of four, to operate S-band mobile satellite services across Europe. Each company has received an award for operations using 30MHz (2x15MHz tranches) of S-band radio spectrum.
Inmarsats S-band satellite programme, known as EuropaSat, aims to deliver next-generation telecommunications services across all 27 member states of the European Union and as far east as Moscow and Ankara – by means of a hybrid satellite/terrestrial network. These new services are expected to include mobile multimedia broadcast, mobile broadband and next-generation MSS services for consumers, enterprise and institutional users throughout Europe, including those in remote and rural areas. 
Inmarsat says it has already assembled a world-class set of partnerships with third parties to provide design and manufacturing services, technology and infrastructure support, including Thales Alenia Space for the EuropaSat satellite, International Launch Services for the launch vehicle, and a number of leading suppliers of ground segment services and end user products.
We would like to congratulate the European Commission on its effective, innovative and fair approach to making the pan-European S-band awards, says Rupert Pearce, Senior Vice President, Inmarsat Enterprises. We are delighted to be the recipient of this award, which we regard as an essential prerequisite, supporting our ambitions to continue to be at the forefront of mobile satellite service innovation in Europe, and to drive growth in our business and to create value for our shareholders. On the back of this award, we will look to pursue the commercial partnerships necessary to ensure that the returns from the required investment in our S-band programme will generate acceptable returns on capital without undue risks or uncertainties.
Solaris Mobile, joint venture between Eutelsat and SES Astra, says that its network will enable content providers to broadcast crystal clear live TV; and to deliver linear and on-demand content, such as location-based services, video or radio channels, to mobile phones, vehicles, iPods, portable video players, game consoles and other handsets, on land, at sea and in the air.
For Solaris Mobile, CEO Steve Maine says:
We are delighted with the spectrum award, which marks a critically important milestone for innovative mobile satellite services in Europe. We welcome the European Commissions efficient handling of a very complex procedure, and now look forward to obtaining our national authorisations as soon as possible. The announcement today will act as a catalyst to promote our vision of providing enhanced mobile services in Europe.”
Separately, Solaris Mobile has revealed that in the course of carrying out tests on its S-band satellite capacity which was launched last month, an anomaly has been detected in its performance. Additional analysis is consequently planned with the satellites prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space, in order to identify the cause of the anomaly and fully to assess the extent of the S-band payload's capability to provide mobile satellite services to the European marketplace. The company says, however, that it remains confident of its ability to meet the commitments made under the European Commission selection process.