ST Engineering iDirect’s broadcast technology has been selected by USSI Global to enable the modernization and compression of satellite programmers’ distribution uplinks to comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) C-band spectrum transition.
ST Engineering iDirect is a key technology partner in the upgrade and will be providing broadcast equipment that includes M1600 modulators, USS02012 redundancy switches and FR0730 up and down converters, enabling USSI Global to ensure a smooth transition and high-efficiency, future-proof infrastructure. The modernized compression systems will serve extensive sports distribution encompassing MLB, NHL and NBA teams, as well as several major programmer distribution systems in the USA. The upgrade is expected to be completed by August of 2023.
The upgrade work is part of the FCC’s initiative to clear 300MHz of the C-band’s 500MHz bandwidth frequency for 5G mobile services and relocate service providers within that spectrum to the remaining 200MHz. As the C-band spectrum is mostly used for TV and radio operations, many providers will vacate the 300MHz targeted for 5G services. These transitions will require affected providers to navigate complex technical changes including installation of new and existing antennas and the repointing and filtering required for the antenna upgrades.
“This is a critical and highly visible project that represents an important first element in the FCC initiative to clear the C-band spectrum for 5G. The ground solutions track is part of our core business focus, both now and in the future for our company,” said Bob Dunbar, SVP of Business Development at USSI Global. “We have worked with ST Engineering iDirect for a number of decades and they are a trusted technology partner. We have used its equipment as the solution in most all of our customer uplink modernizations around the globe with several compression vendors. Through its highly innovative and efficient technology and our strong, proven partnership, we know that we can enable the smooth transition for the programmers affected by the C-band clearing compression requirement. We also look forward to seeing our partnership continue to flourish in the future as we jointly leverage emerging opportunities in satellite ground segment.”
“Sports broadcasting is integral to the media sector in the United States, and the transition from the C-band is a critical one,” said Darren Ludington, Regional Vice President of Sales, Americas at ST Engineering iDirect. “We are delighted to support our partner, USSI Global, in what is an important venture for the company. Through this deal, they have truly demonstrated the continued trust they have in our broadcast technology. We look forward to further building on our solid relationship in the future.”