Intelsat, SES, Eutelsat and Telesat Establish the C-Band Alliance (CBA)

The CBA is a Consortium to Facilitate Clearing of U.S. Mid-band Spectrum for 5G While Protecting U.S. Content Distribution and Data Networks.

The CBA is designed to act as a facilitator as described in a recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proceeding featuring the companies’ market-based proposal to clear a portion of C-band spectrum in the United States. The formation of the CBA is a significant achievement and demonstrates the industry alignment necessary to make this mid-band spectrum available quickly, thus supporting the U.S. objective of winning the race to introduce terrestrial 5G services.

The market-based proposal was developed in response to a proceeding initiated by the FCC in August 2017, which led to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that was formally approved by the FCC on July 12, 2018 and published in the Federal Register of August 30, 2018. The proposal reflects the unique U.S. telecommunications environment and aims to protect the quality and reliability of the extensive services provided by satellite operators in the C-band spectrum to U.S. broadcasters, media, and data companies. The proposal establishes a commercial and technical framework that would enable terrestrial mobile operators to quickly access spectrum in a portion of the 3,700 to 4,200 MHz frequency band in the U.S., speeding the deployment of next-generation 5G services.

The proposal specifies the use of a consortium, now known as the CBA, to undertake the technical and commercial implementation of the spectrum clearing process. This process is necessary to repurpose the C-band spectrum for use in a 5G environment. The CBA will be led, effective immediately, by Bill Tolpegin, currently CEO of OTA Broadcasting, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer of CBA.Media sector veteran Preston Padden will serve as Head of Advocacy and Government Relations.

A significant milestone in the progression of the proposal, the establishment of the CBA signifies that the satellite operators delivering the vast majority of satellite C-band services in the U.S. have agreed upon the key technical and commercial steps necessary to enable commercial implementation of the spectrum clearing process. The CBA also ensures that customer services are protected from potential interference as new wireless services are introduced into the cleared portion of the spectrum.

BeckTV Adds Further Depth and Resources to Its Engineering Team With Three New Hires

BeckTV, one of the United States’ premier broadcast systems integrators, has significantly extended its engineering resources through three new appointments. Matt Weiss has joined the company as senior engineer and vice president, Eastern region, while Nik Kumar and Paul Nijak have joined the company as senior engineers.

“Matt is a well-known and highly respected professional within the broadcast industry,” said Fred Beck, principal and senior systems engineer at BeckTV. “His numerous contacts across the East Coast bring BeckTV exciting opportunities, and his engineering background allows him to serve as the knowledgeable client interface that customers should expect from an engineering-based firm like BeckTV.”

Weiss has more than 27 years of experience in the broadcast television and A/V industries. He has held a wide range of management and technical positions with responsibility over program and business development, project management, new technology investigation and implementation, system design and execution, scheduling, vendor relations, and workforce management.

Most recently, as associate director of engineering and partner at CEI, Weiss oversaw project framing and scaling, proposal development, and new business initiatives. In addition to leading and authoring complete facility technical studies focusing on optimizing operational workflows, Weiss also identified the scope of work for many high-profile projects, created business processes for their execution, and provided technical design direction for design and implementation teams. Weiss earlier was an operations engineer and video tape engineer for NBC News in Washington, D.C.; Charlotte, North Carolina; and New York City. He was the coordinating engineer for NBC News during the 1996 Winter Games and both the 1996 Republican and Democratic national conventions.

Like Weiss, Nik Kumar joins BeckTV having most recently served in a senior engineering role at CEI. As senior managing engineer and project manager at CEI, he oversaw production of professional designs and systems engineering documents from project inception to final client acceptance and also managed the team of project engineers throughout on-site systems testing and commissioning phases. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from George Mason University and his master’s degree in engineering management from Ohio University.

“Nik is an elite broadcast engineering talent who has been involved in broadcast system integration for more than a dozen years. He has leveraged advanced degrees in engineering along with proven leadership skills to become an excellent analytical problem solver and superb project leader,” said Brendan Cline, director of engineering at BeckTV. “Paul Nijak also has a strong record as an engineering talent. He has made an excellent reputation for himself as a sports and mobile engineering professional, and he has an intuitive understanding of the operational aspects of systems integration and project management. We’re pleased to welcome both Nik and Paul to BeckTV.”

Paul Nijak comes to BeckTV from national mobile production truck company IMS Productions, where he was director of engineering. While with IMS, Nijak oversaw the design, build, and operation of the company’s state-of-the-art HD and 4K mobile production units and support vehicles, which have been deployed for Hollywood award shows, prime time television, and popular sports broadcasts including NCAA, NBA, NFL, MLB, and IndyCar events.

Kumar and Nijak both report to Cline and are responsible for system design, installation, project management, and on-site installation supervision. Weiss and Kumar are establishing an engineering office in Washington, D.C., while Nijak is based in Austin, Texas.