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Ka-band spectrum EchoStar acquired last year may be in jeopardy unless the satellite TV company can get some help from the Federal Communications Commission.

Last year, EchoStar acquired a 90 percent stake in VisionStar, which holds an FCC Ka-Band license at the 113-degree orbital location. The company has asked the FCC for an extension of construction and launch milestones for a satellite that would occupy the VisionStar slot.

Construction of the bird was supposed to be finished in April and launch was required by the FCC to take place this month, according to EchoStar's quarterly filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"Failure to receive an extension, of which there can be no assurance, will render the license invalid," EchoStar said. The company may fund construction, launch and insurance of the satellite through cash from operations, public or private debt or equity financing, joint ventures with others, or from other sources, "although there is no assurance that such funding will be available," the filing said.

In addition to the VisionStar slot, EchoStar holds a Ka-Band license at the 121-degree location, virtually next door to its full-CONUS Ku-Band/DBS spectrum at 119 degrees.

Ka-Band spectrum is expected to help launch the next wave of consumer satellite services, including broadband offerings. In addition to EchoStar, DirecTV parent Hughes, Pegasus and others have Ka-Band licenses.

The FCC granted VisionStar permission to transfer control of its Ka-Band orbital assignment to EchoStar last October.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
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