The EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite is prepped and ready to support Brazilian free-to-air (FTA) channels

    For the past 30 to 40 years, free-to-air (FTA) broadcasting in Brazil has been streamed through C-band frequencies. However, this is all about to change. 5G is quickly becoming available throughout South America, and Anatel, Brazil’s public telecom regulator, has stated that all FTA C-band channels must migrate to Ku-band to keep broadcasting. Read on to find out how Eutelsat is ready to serve FTA channels throughout Brazil and the rest of South America.

    Introducing 5G to Brazil

    5G is expanding across the world. The fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks is being deployed throughout the Americas. However, the move has disrupted Brazilian FTA broadcasting. A portion of the C-band frequencies that these channels have historically used will soon be allocated to the implementation and support of 5G throughout the country.

    With the new allocation of C-band frequencies to 5G, FTA channels will have to migrate to Ku-band. Thankfully, Eutelsat is prepared and ready to offer its globally recognized services and solutions to FTA broadcasters through the unique advantages of the EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite.

    How Eutelsat is assisting with the Brazil’s FTA migration

    With our pledge to offer accessible and reliable access to entertainment and news worldwide, Eutelsat has made preparations to support the imminent migration of Brazil’s FTA channels to Ku-band. We have been working with local Brazilian providers and operators to offer a seamless transition to local FTA channels.

    Eutelsat, along with local teleport partner, Speedcast, has proposed a solution that will increase quality, expand the network and have a strong preference for Brazilian satellites and business. This solution enables viewers to watch channels on two separate satellites to broaden their choice in entertainment and secure the reliability of broadcasting. We have already conducted a test with Speedcast in dual-feeding broadcasts on both 65° West and 70° West Ku-band to great success with a dual-feed LNB. The results were made public in a compelling report that supported Anatel’s decision to migrate FTA channels to Ku-band.

    In another initiative, Eutelsat and Speedcast are simulating the migration to Ku-band of eight different FTA channels, retransmitting them to EUTELSAT 65 West A without issue, and another eight will be added soon.

    This turnkey solution provided by Eutelsat and Speedcast provides easy access and implementation without any disruption to broadcasters or viewers. The FTA channels that joined the test above reported greater reach with no disruptions during their transition to Ku-band, making Eutelsat’s solution ideal for the Brazilian FTA migration.

    The bid for Ku-band migration

    Despite the test’s success, Eutelsat will still have to wait for Anatel, Brazil’s national telecommunications agency, to select the satellite(s) and begin its FTA channel migration.

    Anatel will subsidize migration kits for more than seven million households to perform the FTA migration from C-band to Ku-band, to the satellite operator who can offer the best services in reach, reliability, quality and cost-effectiveness.

    The Auction is estimated to happen by Q3 2021, with the satellites and providers being selected within 120 days afterwards. However, the 65° West satellite location and the EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite offer unique benefits to consider for broadcasters:

    Unique benefits of the 65° West satellite location

    • 65° West is the only position serving the Brazilian arc, which has two satellites from two different operators.
    • 65° West is the home of two Brazilian orbital positions with obligations of coverage, capacity, and continuity. It offers 100% coverage of the Brazilian territory, with a minimum of 50% of the total capacity dedicated to the local market.
    • The control center of the satellites at this location is locally operated.


    Unique benefits of Eutelsat and EUTELSAT 65 West A

    • Eutelsat is the only operator that ran an official test in the field to Anatel, proving the concept of receiving two satellites on a single antenna (dual-beam antenna), allowing a more robust solution.
    • Eutelsat has already proven the reliability, viability and effectiveness of their solution, transmitting eight different FTA channels with local teleport partner Speedcast.
    • Eutelsat is ready to provide a turnkey solution composed of uplink and capacity on EUTELSAT 65 West A. This can be done either for the uplink of 1 FTA channel, or multiple channels through local teleport partner, Speedcast, enabling speed of delivery and ease of access.


    The future of Brazilian FTA broadcasting

    Introducing 5G to the region is an exciting prospect, but not without challenges. Migrating Brazilian FTA channels to make capacity available for 5G to operate is no easy task. Thankfully, with solutions like Eutelsat’s 65 West A, the future of Brazilian FTA broadcasting will remain secure and offer countless hours of entertainment and information well into the future. Stay tuned for updates on this story as it develops by keeping an eye on our blog.

    If you would like to find out more about the introduction of 5G in Brazil and the migration of FTA channels in the region, read the official press release for more information. Alternatively, if you want to discover more on Eutelsat and their services and support available to broadcasters around the world, visit Eutelsat’s website today.