Hughes has a long history in the international marketplace. In fact, our first customers were international when we were a start-up called DCC (Digital Communications Corp.) in the early 1970’s. Today we have customers in 119 countries, a credit to our ability to diversify our products and services to meet the changing needs of our global market.
Two factors are key to achieving international success—opportunity and capability. Most countries now recognize the importance of broadband as a basic requirement for economic growth, and are broadening services to their citizens through governmentsubsidized projects. This includes expanding high-quality education to isolated regions, providing telephony to rural areas, and connecting government offices via video teleconferencing and voice services. This is generating tremendous opportunities for Hughes. Satellite technology is extremely important in countries with a limited terrestrial infrastructure, while the rise of IP-based applications, particularly video-based services, is another impetus to the adoption of satellite networking.
We are actively pursuing these opportunities by continuously designing new capabilities into our products to match the needs of our customers. Our approach is to understand the psychology, culture, and needs of each region, and then to use this knowledge to develop solutions well suited to these areas. Our latest HN and HX product lines reflect this philosophy, and are designed to enable a wide range of broadband applications, from basic Internet/intranet access to the highest throughput, media-rich content delivery services. Working hand in glove with our advanced systems and hardware are extensive software and back-office capabilities, developed and fine tuned over the years to manage even the largest and most complex networks. We provide these products and services throughout the world, either directly or through our growing family of broadband satellite service providers. Numbering over 60 at last count, they provide service coverage on every continent. Here are just a few examples:
In Mexico, we’re working with major service providers such as TELMEX, Enlaces Integra, and Pegaso to provide satellite Internet access to schools and to deliver broadband and telephony services to rural areas, reaching businesses, government offices, and health care centers.
In Africa and the Middle East, we supply comprehensive broadband satellite solutions to major operators such as Ethiopia Telecommunications Corporation, Telkom South Africa, and Afsat Communications Ltd., who deliver services to an ever-growing base of businesses and government agencies.
In Asia Pacific, we work through independent service providers to support government-subsidized services such as an Australian initiative to provide broadband in the outback. We also work with service providers in Indonesia, Korea, and Malaysia.
In Russia, Ukraine, and the CIS countries, who are investing aggressively in infrastructure, we’ve now shipped over 15,000 terminals to 15 independent service providers such as DataGroup, Settelcom, IPNet, KB ISkra, and Delta Telecom, who are successfully serving governments, businesses, and consumers/small offices.
The exploding market in China holds enormous potential, with its burgeoning need for interactive communications, broadcasting, and multicasting, and we are seeking ways to tap into this potential.
Finally, our own service companies in Europe, India, and Brazil are experiencing healthy growth throughout their regions. In Europe, we now serve over 30,000 customer sites out of our Griesheim hub and continue to expand our presence with bluechip companies like Volkswagen, Shell, and Citigroup. Hughes India is the largest broadband satellite service provider in that country with over 16,000 sites, delivering a wide array of data, voice, and video services to businesses and government agencies. HughesNet Fusion, our latest exciting initiative in India, is a successful franchise business, which provides kiosks where people can access the Internet on a fee-for-service basis to send e-mail, pay bills, or shop online. In South America, our service business operating out of São Paulo, Brazil has already passed 3,700 sites in less than 18 months and is well positioned to keep pace with the anticipated healthy growth throughout the Mercosur countries.
Looking to the future, it is our goal to grow our international business by double digits annually, with particular emphasis on expanding the service side of our business. Our strategy is to work closely with international service providers to extend their broadband offerings and accelerate their growth by globally leveraging our successes, incorporating the required backoffice capabilities, applications, and solutions we’ve proven in our own operations.
Hughes is truly a global company, with customers in all corners of the world. Satellite communications is making information affordable and accessible to people who couldn’t have dreamed of it just a few years ago. And as economies grow around the world, we will be right there with them, helping to make communications better.