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Executive Vice President and General Manager for the North American Division
In this issue we explore market expansion strategies, notable innovations, and look at what’s ahead in 2020 and beyond for Hughes.
Q. There’s been a lot of news lately about HughesNet® expansion in the Americas. Tell us about how Hughes North America is helping make that happen and your strategy for growing the business overall, including enterprise and government as well as consumer?
A. Our corporate mandate is to connect the unconnected, and there’s no better example of this than our expansion of HughesNet® throughout the Americas. Consider that we pioneered satellite Internet in the U.S. two decades ago and how significant the many benefits are of HughesNet to the millions unserved and underserved by terrestrial networks— providing high-speed services that enable on line education, business and personal communications, and everything in between. Because there are common themes in knowing these markets and delivering the services, the Hughes team in North America has helped position and launch them—most recently in Mexico, similar to the teams we built in Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Brazil, where we take our best ideas and blend them with theirs. As far as growing the business overall, we’ll be adding new services directed to specific customer sectors beyond consumers, including small-to-medium-sized businesses and government agencies. Look for some exciting upcoming announcements.
Q. Hughes received the 2019 Innovation Award from TMC Labs for its HT2000L router–the first terminal of its kind in the industry to provide connectivity for both satellite and cellular/LTE services. Why is this innovation important to the distributed enterprise, like retailers and restaurant franchises?
A. The distributed enterprise relies on apps to run their business, whether its managing point-of-sale transactions and inventory, customer facing digital signage or Wi-Fi access. If these apps don’t work all day, every day, then the enterprise can’t operate and revenue is lost. So, they need robust and reliable broadband service. That’s what the HT2000L provides: the ability to operate both on satellite and on the local cell LTE service. Depending on network traffic or status of the link, it can maintain communications and optimize traffic across the two channels—ensuring high availability, continuous connectivity, which is critical for enterprises, not to mention community and government operations of all kinds.
Q. On-the-Move, Always-on satellite connectivity is becoming a critical need, especially for the military and first responders, not to mention commercial airlines and maritime operators. Can you summarize Hughes strategies and latest offerings for meeting this demand?
A. When it comes to on-the-move services, military and first responders have the same challenges that businesses do: apps that need to operate over a network to perform one or more functions reliably. Whether on a ship, or plane, or in an emergency response vehicle, all require always-on connectivity. For the last five years, we’ve invested heavily in aero services, and our JUPITERTM platform. JUPITER is an amazing system.
Between our satellites and the hardware and software on the ground that make it come to life, it’s critical to our strategy. By adding mobility features onto the platform to serve those markets, the platform has become a world leader for service providers. It’s not just about being able to provide fixed services, but also mobility services all on the same system. As we grow our partnerships, we can interconnect systems to offer seamless broadband connectivity around the globe.
Q. Arunas Slekys notes in his article (page 6) that partnerships are needed to realize the hybrid architecture of satellites and terrestrial fixed/wireless for connecting people, enterprises and things globally. What is the Hughes strategy for good partnerships?
A. We have endeavored extensively to find major players in regions around the world and to work together, where we not only provide our equipment and systems but marry our services together. With partners like Eutelsat, SES, and our joint venture with Yahsat, the idea is to come together to provide a bigger offering. We have many different combinations and types of partnerships that help make us successful, and we are continuing to build more of them over time.
Q. What’s on the horizon for Hughes in 2020 and beyond?
A. Our focus is to continue to build out broadband services around the world, whether by expanding our own operational footprint in the Americas, Europe, India or Brazil, or by finding new opportunities to partner with qualified providers and jointly expand services. Of course, a top priority is completing development and preparing our JUPITER 3 satellite and ground system for services, targeted in 2021. Soon, we’ll roll out the gateways and finish developing the ground systems, as SSL (our manufacturer) continues to assemble this massive satellite. As we stitch together a global fabric of all of our JUPITER platform partners, expect announcements of new provider partnerships and investments in the mobility space to ensure we maintain our market leadership position. In the enterprise space, HughesONTM will also announce some exciting new cloud capabilities and continue to serve as the basis for our enterprise networking around the world.
It’s going to be another busy and big year for Hughes!