Looking for HughesNet U.S.? Click here.
GSA, Hughes, CenturyLink, and the Government Executive Media Group host seminar on the future of federal networks and America’s digital infrastructure
T o help government agencies plan for a smooth transition to the new telecommunications network services contract vehicle, Hughes, CenturyLink, and the General Services Administration (GSA) participated in panel discussions and presentations at a seminar in Washington D.C. moderated by the Government Executive Media Group. The seminar was an opportunity to showcase how agencies can modernize their networks and realize gains in network performance while also reducing costs.
More than 100 government, consulting and industry representatives attended the event, which featured Crystal Philcox, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Category Management, Federal Acquisition Service, GSA; Tony Bardo, Assistant Vice President, Government Solutions, Hughes; David Young, Regional Vice President, Strategic Government, CenturyLink; Nick Coval, Chief Architect, Enterprise Solutions, Hughes; Sean Costello, Federal Solutions Architect, CenturyLink; and Tim Hartman, Chief Executive Officer, Government Executive Media Group.
Think of the Possibilities
In her comments, Crystal Philcox urged agency decisionmakers to explore the myriad advantages of advanced networking solutions and noted a rising trend in adopting more managed services. GSA’s priority, she said, is to help agencies understand the range of possibilities. For example, converging voice and data solutions enable agencies with large call centers, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Social Security Administration (SSA), to pilot telework programs for call center reps to reduce costs. A smaller agency may leverage EIS to bolster its network security capabilities, while another may use the contract to automate customer service and payment processes.
According to Philcox, each agency should consider how it wants to interact with citizens and employees. One example discussed by the panel is the farmer who is out in the fields working on a tractor. Today, equipment offers seamless connectivity between machine, operator, and field. Yet that same farmer may need to return to the office to complete forms online and submit them to the government because the requesting federal agency is not equipped to integrate existing systems to collect the data automatically.
Thinking about outcomes and possibilities—rather than just procuring the same limiting systems they have from the past—will enable agencies to maximize efficiencies. Philcox recommended creating a Statement of Objectives (SOO), rather than the traditional (and often too-rigid) Statement of Work (SOW) in a Request for Proposal (RFP), to focus on outcomes, empowering the agency to modernize without being locked into maintaining their existing legacy technology. With an SOO, an agency can also call upon technology experts throughout the industry for guidance and recommendations on how best to achieve those goals, which is difficult to do with an SOW that outlines required solution components.
The SD-WAN Connection
When agencies consider the possibilities for their networks, they must think about applications and the optimal user experience—looking beyond routing end points, explained CenturyLink’s Sean Costello. That involves determining Quality of Service (QoS) levels to ensure that no matter where a user is, where their applications reside, or where their data may go, they enjoy a standardized experience. Of course, broadband speeds vary widely based on a variety of factors. Much depends on whether a location is urban, rural or ex-urban and what connectivity solutions are available. Creating an optimized user experience across the network becomes a complex challenge for agencies to tackle on their own.
Here lies the power of a managed Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution. With HughesON Managed SD-WAN, for example, once performance requirements are set, the network automatically routes traffic from multiple paths to achieve the predetermined QoS level and optimizes the user experience. For agencies with offices across the country, dynamic routing like this enables more bandwidth at all sites—regardless of the type of connectivity or transport (DSL, T1, satellite or cable).
Goodbye, Networx. Hello, EIS!
The Federal Government is urging agencies to move away from using the Networx contract vehicle which ends March 2020 and instead turn to the new EIS contract for federal network services and solutions. Hughes is a key partner of the CenturyLink team, one of nine awardees on the new GSA Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract.
Networks are the central nervous systems of the Federal Government and the foundation for providing services to millions of citizens every day. With the award of the EIS contracting vehicle in 2017, the exploding range of networking innovations in the commercial marketplace are now available to agencies—ushering in unprecedented opportunities to transform their legacy systems into secure, enterprise-grade networks, bringing digital world benefits to both the government and its constituents.
The EIS Roadmap to Transformation
Transformation cannot be prescribed, the panel of speakers stressed. It does not happen in a linear fashion. And it depends on how the agency chooses to seize the opportunities made possible by EIS. Regardless, the panelists agreed that transformation should begin by cultivating a thorough understanding of the existing network traffic behavior.
With more than 2,715 Internet broadband service providers across the U.S. and hundreds of distributed federal civilian and defense agencies needing connectivity, network complexity can be a major hurdle, noted Nick Coval of Hughes. A transport-neutral managed services provider is uniquely equipped to provide the best-of-breed and most cost-effective connectivity solutions no matter the location or bandwidth requirements. Understanding network traffic requirements is crucial to developing an EIS roadmap and should be done before defining the SOO.
Make Transition a Priority
The final advice offered by the panel was for government agencies to act sooner rather than later in evaluating and procuring their network infrastructures. By leveraging solutions like HughesON Managed SD-WAN using the EIS vehicle, agencies will be poised to evolve over the course of the contract as new applications and technologies are added to the digital ecosystem—and, ultimately, transform the way they conduct business and deliver services to citizens.
At Hughes, security is woven into everything the company does
In an age of relentless cyber-attacks, network security is essential. For Hughes, security protocols are integrated throughout and fundamental to its operations.
“We don’t treat security as a different or separate entity. It’s not an overlay, it’s baked into everything we do,” said Matt Kenyon, Vice President, Network and Security Operations at Hughes. “We are always improving operations with an eye towards security best practices and better surveillance. And because we are at the forefront of network security on a global scale, we know what’s going on in the world in terms of threats and are able to respond to a constantly evolving landscape. This not only safeguards the Hughes corporate network but also helps to protect customer networks.”
Security by Design
Hughes security efforts begin at the earliest stages of network design and engineering. For example, one challenge for Hughes engineers is to design security measures for expensive satellite equipment that will be in orbit for 15 years or longer. The Hughes team builds security protocols around the satellite’s central communications capabilities, making it robust enough to grow and easy to upgrade. Once a satellite is launched and incorporated into the Hughes infrastructure, which includes both satellite and terrestrial operations, the Hughes Security Operations team is responsible for ensuring the “health and hygiene” of the entire network.
The same security awareness that goes into designing the company’s satellites goes into planning, designing, implementing, and monitoring every customer network deployment.
The Hughes Security Operations team responsible for securing the Hughes network and enterprise customer networks includes experts in threat analytics and response, most of whom have extensive backgrounds in operations and deep product knowledge. That team, along with a host of sophisticated security tools, technologies, procedures, and reporting capabilities, protects the core Hughes network.
“When a security alert is generated on the Hughes network, the team dives in to mitigate the threat and shepherd the problem to resolution,” said David Henning, director, Network Security and Compliance at Hughes. “Our objective is to discover and resolve issues before they become incidents. This is the same protocol Hughes uses to secure its enterprise customers. For customers with applicable services, such as our advanced HughesON™ Managed Security Services, we provide increased visibility into their distributed network.”
Since the risk against active threats never ends, the team monitors networks seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Protocols include real-time email alerts of critical events and a daily analysis of security logs collected from Hughes managed firewall devices at remote locations. The Hughes team alerts the customer of any questionable activity within a particular location on their network, for example, if something suspicious is happening on the Guest Wi-Fi at Store #2.
This “one step ahead” capability stems from the innovative Hughes network security platform based on the HR4x00 Branch Gateway. It combines Hughes ActiveTechnologies™ for performance optimization with the world’s most advanced security operating system from Fortinet, a global leader in automated cybersecurity solutions. As a next-generation Unified Threat Management platform, the HR4x00 aligns to meet the needs of today’s distributed enterprises, such as retail, restaurants, hospitality, retail petroleum, as well as government organizations. Hughes and Fortinet have collaborated over the past 12 years to deploy and manage solutions that ensure the security and performance of a wide range of customer networks—for which Hughes was named Fortinet’s 2017 Global Partner of the Year.
In an age of relentless attacks targeted anytime from anywhere, the Hughes Security Operations team is always on the job, applying its expertise and technology to keep the hackers and cyber thieves out and to protect the networks of Hughes and its customers.
New Internet Continuity Service for Small Business
Hughes offers satellite Internet connectivity backup service to protect small businesses from costly outages
In July, Hughes launched its HughesNet Internet Continuity service, a subscription-based connectivity backup service for small businesses that keeps the Internet up and running in the event of unexpected outages. The service provides small businesses affordable protection against losses due to cable, fiber, or DSL outages.
“Whether as a result of DSL degradation, equipment malfunction, or severe weather, terrestrial Internet outages are commonplace,” said Peter Gulla, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Hughes. “For small businesses that rely on the Internet, an unexpected outage can hurt their bottom line. We created HughesNet Internet Continuity to give small business owners an affordable, automatic backup system to maintain business as usual when terrestrial connectivity fails.”
HughesNet Internet Continuity utilizes a Wi-Fi modem, antenna, radio, and a failover router to establish a system that switches connectivity from terrestrial to satellite and back again, automatically. This enables business functions such as credit card processing and web services to continue working as long as the power remains on.
“An outage can cost a small business thousands of dollars per day in lost revenue and employee productivity,” said Gulla. “Traditional backup options rely on 4G networks and suffer from inconsistent or spotty coverage. Satellite Internet Continuity provides reliable service and offers additional data at a significantly lower cost than 4G backup plans.”
HughesNet Internet Continuity offers download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps.
Hughes was recently selected by Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN), the oldest private telecommunication and information service provider in Indonesia, to provision the JUPITER™ System for broadband services over the PSN VI High-Throughput Satellite (HTS).
“PSN required a robust and scalable ground architecture to support the volume of users and traffic that we expect to serve with PSN VI,” said Adi Rahman Adiwoso, Chief Executive Officer at PSN. “In 2017, Internet user penetration in Indonesia was only 39.7 percent, leaving approximately six million Indonesia households without Internet connectivity. With our PSN IV and the JUPITER system, PSN will deliver high-speed Internet access, including Wi-Fi hotspots, helping bridge the digital divide in Indonesia, reaching unconnected households and businesses throughout the region.”
The comprehensive Hughes solution includes HG240 Gateways, a variety of remote Hughes HT terminals, and a central network management system for efficient bandwidth allocation and operational control, enabling PSN to deliver satellite broadband services to consumers and businesses across Indonesia. The JUPITER System features enhanced networking capabilities and supports speeds up to 300 Mbps to an individual terminal, making it the ideal solution for supporting the high-growth potential of PSN’s broadband offerings.
Hughes recognized with multiple awards honoring leadership in network security, workplace excellence and corporate social responsibility
Reflecting Hughes commitment to partnering with customers to help achieve business goals, the company was recognized this summer for leadership in three areas.
Security: Fortinet’s Global Partner of the Year
Hughes was honored as the Global Partner of the Year at Fortinet’s Accelerate 18, an annual gathering of more than 2,300 Fortinet customers and partners from around the world. The award recognizes outstanding cybersecurity sales, customer experience, collaboration, and marketing achievements.
“Hughes and Fortinet have a shared vision for enabling distributed enterprises to better compete and embrace digital transformation under the umbrella of a robust and secure, high-performance network,” said Mike Tippets, Vice President Enterprise Marketing at Hughes. “Now customers can focus on their business and leave management of the network in the hands of a trusted partner.”
One example of the companies’ 12-year relationship is the Hughes HR4860 Secure SD-WAN Gateway, which integrates Hughes broadband optimization tools and SD-WAN technology with Fortinet’s leading Unified Threat Management (UTM) security into a single unit, providing exceptional security and network optimization at the network edge.
Hughes was also made a member of the Fortinet Fabric-Ready partner program, a premium alliance program through which participants collect and share threat and mitigation information to improve intelligence and enhance end-to-end response.
Corporate Social Responsibility: The Peer Award and Communitas Award
At Hughes, giving back to the communities where we live and work means bringing innovative technologies and solutions to people everywhere. According to Peter Gulla, senior Vice President of marketing for Hughes: “As part of our effort to help bridge the digital divide, our aim is to ensure that all children, no matter where they live, have access to hands-on, experiential STEM learning. By encouraging kids’ passion for STEM today, we hope to inspire the science and technology leaders of tomorrow.” It was with this in mind that HughesNet launched the STEM Lab this summer with the National 4-H Council. (See page 11 for details on STEM Lab.)
Informatology, presenters of the Peer Awards for Excellence, recognized Hughes for leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. The Peer Award for Excellence in Corporate Responsibility celebrates “real accomplishments and innovation” in Corporate Social Responsibility. Hughes won in the IT and Telecommunications industry sector category and was shortlisted in the subcategory, “Educating the Community.” The award honored the HughesNet partnership with 4-H, and the company’s efforts to empower the next generation through STEM education.
What’s more, Hughes was recognized for its STEM education efforts by the Communitas Awards as a 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence Winner for making STEM accessible. Communitas Awards honor international companies, organizations and individuals that go beyond rhetoric, dedicate themselves to helping the less fortunate in their communities, and change the way they do business to benefit their employees, communities, and environment.
Workplace Excellence: The AWE Awards
The Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE) recognized Hughes with four awards for workplace excellence, including the 2018 AWE Workplace Excellence and Health & Wellness Seals of Approval as well as the AWE EcoLeadership and Diversity Champion Awards. This marks the 19th consecutive year Hughes has been honored by AWE as an outstanding place to work.
“Hughes solutions enable a more productive and engaged society, and our company culture reflects that commitment to connectivity, belonging and prosperity,” said Pradman Kaul, President of Hughes. “We strive for diversity, environmental sustainability, employee health and wellness, and overall workplace excellence because it’s the right thing for our employees, and therefore our customers and our business.”
Hughes offers employees flexible work arrangements, continuing education opportunities, health and wellness programs, recreation and cultural activities and opportunities to volunteer. A Montgomery County, Maryland, certified “Green Business,” Hughes commitment to the environment includes local clean-up and beautification efforts, company-wide recycling, and Earth Day celebrations.
JUPITER System enhanced capabilities include doubled throughput, fast HTTPS browsing, and expanded mobility support
Internet speed testing recently conducted on the newly enhanced Hughes JUPITER System demonstrated download speeds as high as 217 Mbps, which until now have not been available to satellite network operators anywhere. Now, with these most recent enhancements - doubled throughput, fast HTTPs browsing, and expanded mobility - operators will have the access and throughput capabilities they need to open new markets and realize competitive advantages for their customers.
“These enhancements of our flagship JUPITER System further raise the bar in setting the industry standard for satellite broadband networks,” said Dave Rehbehn, Vice President of Hughes International sales and marketing. “They validate our ongoing commitment to an ever-growing family of valued operator customers, ensuring that their investment in Hughes technology will gain them a competitive advantage in their markets today and for years to come.”
The JUPITER System is the world’s leading platform for broadband satellite services across all segments—from high-speed Internet access for consumers and small business, to enterprise private networks, cellular backhaul, communications on the move, and Voice over IP (VoIP)—addressing an entire spectrum of community, enterprise, backhaul, aero, and maritime needs.
In addition to doubling the throughput of the Hughes family of HT2xxx broadband satellite terminals to over 200 Mbps TCP throughput, enhancements include expanded support for maritime applications, and a rapid in-route parsing and prioritization scheme for fast HTTPS browsing. This new in-route access scheme optimizes transactional messages for significantly faster browsing of encrypted web pages and greater efficiency for such applications as automated teller machines (ATMs), lottery sales, or point of purchase processing. These capabilities provide a boon to early technology adopters, which typically include those within banking and finance, health care, and education. For example, banks can enter new communities and boost local economies when they create ATM networks in areas without prior access to these types of services. Healthcare systems can deploy telemedicine initiatives to offer remote patient care and monitoring services.
With the JUPITER System mobility feature set expanded to support maritime applications, those in mining and oil and gas exploration can realize a range of operational improvements. This might include rolling out sophisticated systems for real-time data collection and monitoring to gauge extraction or water levels from a rig; or boosting the quality of life for those stationed on rigs or vessels by providing highspeed broadband access so they can keep in touch with family and friends. Cruise ships can improve onboard connectivity to benefit employees and create a better customer experience. Similarly, a significant throughput speed increase for the JUPITER Aero System, which supports over 600 Mbps to each aircraft, will enable more airlines to offer passengers the ability to be productive—or entertained—while in flight.
“People everywhere use mobile devices, and they expect to be connected anywhere, anytime,” explained Ramesh Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Hughes International Division. “That brings into play the need for more capacity for maritime, and more capacity for aero. HighThroughput Satellites powered by the JUPITER System will be key to answering that need around the globe.”
Adding Capacity: Colombia to Brazil
As part of its mission to bridge the digital divide, Hughes continually innovates to elevate the performance and operational advantages of the JUPITER System whether operating over conventional or High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). The latest HTS to take flight, the Hughes 63 West, is a hosted Ka-band payload on the Telstar 19 VANTAGE satellite that launched on July 22, 2018. Hughes 63W is expected to enter service in early Q4, bringing substantial capacity to five countries in Latin America, complementing the Hughes 65W capacity already in service over Brazil, enhancing the JUPITER services currently available in Colombia, and bringing new broadband connectivity to Peru, Ecuador, and Chile. With the addition of Hughes 63W, Hughes will offer connectivity to more than 90% of the populations in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Slated for 2021. . .
Up next will be the launch of the EchoStar XXIV/JUPITER 3 ultrahigh-density (UHD) satellite, slated for early 2021. With over 600 Gbps gross capacity, its UHD coverage is designed to serve high-demand areas through smaller beams that can be targeted to market requirements, delivering significantly more capacity per area.
It’s all part of powering a connected future—Hughes commitment to connecting people and organizations around the globe, opening today’s opportunities and tomorrow’s possibilities.
Satellite backhaul solution delivers capacity and cost-efficiency to mobile operators
For cellular operators, a major barrier to expanding service in low density and rural areas has been the prohibitive cost of backhauling traffic over terrestrial facilities, whether using microwave, fiber or cable. And the ever-growing demand for video-centric content by customers using a plethora of personal devices, along with Cloudbased applications, further raises the bandwidth challenge. Forecasters from Ovum, a global telecommunications research firm, predict that this growth in subscriber traffic will result in a 34% increase in 3G/4G cell sites. Providing cost-effective backhaul is now at the top of the priority list in justifying business cases to meet this growth. Next generation High-Throughput Satellites (HTS) and associated ground networking solutions such as the Hughes JUPITER™ System now being deployed globally present operators with a viable path to profitable expansion, which otherwise would not be possible using terrestrial backhaul.
The Business Case for Satellite Backhaul
In planning for any network expansion, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) start with their customers’ needs and usage in mind. Cellular traffic patterns can be variable, with quiet periods and periodic traffic bursts. In regions with great variability, an MNO is best served by a flexible backhaul solution capable of allocating adequate bandwidth to meet traffic demands.
The Hughes JUPITER System can assign bandwidth in this way, dynamically responding in real-time to traffic flow. This approach makes use of multiple TDMA return channels in a capacity pool so that all cellular base stations can access it on demand. The capacity gains occur because peak busy hours happen at different times; not all sites peak at the same time. Consequently, the shared pool is available to different cell sites when they need it. The result is that with the JUPITER System, traffic from multiple cell sites can be statistically multiplexed to achieve capacity gains of 5-10x as compared to dedicating bandwidth for each site. An advanced return channel capability is also available and allows the JUPITER System to provision dedicated traffic to a site. (A typical use case might be an airport location where the cell site has a constant high-traffic profile.) The operator can even change from a TDMA return channel that supports bursty traffic to a TDM return channel that allocates all capacity to that site and vice versa.
For MNOs, this type of backhaul strategy is more cost-effective than investing in a system that provides dedicated bandwidth that goes largely unused. It is also more flexible because it enables an MNO to respond to the way traffic on their network behaves—and as patterns evolve and change. In addition, deployment is simple since JUPITER VSAT terminals can be installed to backhaul traffic from virtually anywhere cell site towers are placed.
A Range of Strategic Options
With the JUPITER System, deployment options are numerous. For example, Reliance Jio in India is the world’s first mobile network designed and deployed using only 4G technology. Reliance operates two JUPITER System gateways which support satellite backhaul of more than 1000 4G/LTE Cell sites located in areas where there is no terrestrial connectivity. As other examples, Omantel in Oman operates a Hughes satellite backhaul solution for 100 3G cell sites; while Vodacom in the Democratic Republic of Congo employs a similar solution for 1100 2G cell sites that provide basic voice and data services.
As these deployments illustrate, MNOs can tailor a solution to meet their individual market’s needs. For MNOs that may be apprehensive about operating their own network, Hughes also offers fully managed services, from network planning, design to operation. Regardless of the scenario, a cellular satellite backhaul solution powered by the JUPITER System offers MNOs an adaptable, scalable, and cost-effective path to 3G/4G connectivity and network expansion in any and every market they serve.
HughesNet and 4-H introduce free online resource with fun, hands-on activities for kids
HughesNet® and the National 4-H Council recently announced the launch of STEM Lab—a free resource for parents and teachers designed to inspire the next generation of scientists. STEM Lab is an online hub offering fun, hands-on activities developed by top public universities and 4-H groups to spark kids’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
“Hughes and 4-H share a passion for increasing students’ access to STEM activities no matter where they live,” said Peter Gulla, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Hughes. “STEM Lab mirrors our larger commitment to bridge the technology divide. Kids who have access to online resources that let them tap into their curiosity and enthusiasm for STEM will grow into tomorrow’s leaders—supporting a global economy and powering our connected future.”
Organized according to age groups from 4 to 16 years old, STEM Lab activities are designed to instill curiosity and critical thinking. Projects include easy-to-follow instructions with an explanation of the foundational concepts at work, as well as discussion questions and a list of necessary supplies— which most often consist of basic household items. There’s even a project “Messy Meter,” ranging from “clean” to “mega mess,” which helps parents and activity leaders plan.
At launch, the website featured an exercise in mechanical engineering by the University of California and the University of Nebraska which encourages kids to create a simple robot that draws on paper. Younger students can play chemist by creating “Fizzy Foam” in a project presented by Ohio State University or build a basic wind turbine with little more than paper cups, construction paper, paper clips, and rubber bands. Working with its university partners and with support from HughesNet, 4-H continues to add new activities and projects.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that occupations related to STEM are projected to grow 13 percent by 2022, faster than the 11 percent projected for all occupations over the same period. The next generation of STEM leaders may find these career opportunities with Hughes someday.
“As the nation’s largest youth development organization, 4-H prepares youth for the future, which includes opening doors to dynamic potential careers in STEM fields,” said Jennifer Sirangelo, President and CEO, National 4-H Council. “We know that 4-H youth, compared to their peers, are two times more likely to pursue STEM careers which is why we are excited to have HughesNet support the launch of the new 4-H STEM Lab, where teachers and parents can share and nurture STEM learning.”
“With STEM Lab, we have an opportunity to bring world-class resources together in a learning hub that’s accessible to kids everywhere. Through the activities we support with 4-H, we’ve seen the powerful impact of such curricula and programs,” said Gulla. HughesNet has worked with the National 4-H Council since 2014 to broaden access to STEM education in an increasingly technology-dependent world. In addition to STEM Lab, HughesNet supports 4-H National Youth Science Day and the Youth in Action STEM pillar award.
Dan Rasmussen, Senior Vice President Enterprise Sales and Marketing
In this issue we explore a variety of broadband solutions and services to benefit organizations, large and small.
Q. When does it make the most sense for an organization to consider managed network services such as HughesON™?
A. It used to be that managing a network meant managing a router. Today, a single router can drive application performance, voice, Wi-Fi, and security compliance— making it very complex to manage a multi-site network with hundreds of locations, each with multiple devices. It takes substantial ongoing investment in tools and resources to manage it all, and engaging a trusted partner is usually a wiser and more cost-effective approach. Hughes is focused on meeting the needs of network planning and implementation and has the systems and skilled people to manage that complexity so that our customers can focus their resources on running their businesses.
Q. What are the elements and relevant benefits of HughesON ActiveTechnologiesTM?
A. Many providers deploy SD-WAN solutions. The difference with a HughesON solution is our ActiveTechnologies™, which provide performance optimization in real time. Think of it as adaptive traffic management based on the varying conditions of the network connection at a given location. Without such intelligence built-in at the network edge, competing solutions prioritize data based on what they think was provisioned instead of what is really being provided, which can change by the second. Every organization has to protect its mission-critical apps and ensure that bandwidth hungry applications like Guest Wi-Fi don’t cause payment processing or VoIP service to stop.
Q. How do HughesON solutions map over from commercial to government markets?
A. The government market for distributed offices is facing the same challenges as our commercial customers; in other words, faster connectivity, more resilience, and reduced costs. As broadband access speeds continue to increase, legacy infrastructures with dedicated lines and limited quality of service can’t keep pace. HughesON is a suite of complete networking solutions with proven quality of service that directly addresses these needs. With a HughesON solution operating on a primary broadband circuit and a second network connection for backup, the resulting high availability will support increasingly complex mission requirements and often yield a cost reduction when compared to an existing legacy network.
Q. How does the new EIS contract vehicle help U.S. government agencies procure their network services and solutions? What opportunities do you see for them and for Hughes?
A. The GSA did a very thorough job in vetting the vendors and technologies to be made available to agencies under EIS and to ensure competitive pricing. The transition to EIS requires agencies to re-compete their networks, potentially for the first time in 10 years. That’s not an easy task. We are working with our partners and agencies to help them take advantage of this opportunity—not just to replace their old networks with newer versions of similar technologies, but rather to seek a network technology refresh with the capability to support their longterm growth.
Q. How does the JUPITER™ System fit into HughesON offerings? In particular, how will the JUPITER Aero System benefit customers of airborne broadband services?
A. The need for broadband connectivity is universal, yet we know that terrestrial access technologies don’t come close to reaching everywhere. In fact, as speed requirements increase, the overall availability of coverage drops as technologies such as DSL are no longer competitive. Hughes High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) service offerings provide a unique ability to deliver 25 Mbps+ to almost every location in the United States.
It’s remarkable to realize how expectations of broadband availability have grown over the last 10 years. The Aero market perhaps illustrates this best. It used to be the norm to board a plane and be out of touch for hours. Now, business travelers expect to not only be connected, but to function as if they were connected at the office. The introduction of our JUPITER equipment into the Aero market makes it feasible to deliver this level of capacity at the necessary price points. While it might have been acceptable a few years ago for onboard customers to share just a few Mbps of capacity, we now deliver 100’s of Mbps to a single aircraft—and that number will only grow in the future as we launch even higher capacity HTS satellites.
Q. What other trends are you seeing in the North American markets? And what role will HughesON Managed Services continue to play in future?
A. It is an exciting time in the market. We have developed a broad set of solutions that are in great demand by customers and their end users. While network connectivity is the cornerstone of our business, solutions such as Wi-Fi, VoIP, digital signage, and training are all showing growth as customers turn to managed service providers like Hughes to operate the infrastructure required to run their businesses. This is due, in part, to the fact that there’s a skills shortage; organizations can’t find the technical staff they need to do the work in-house or the financial resources to keep a team’s skills and tools current.
With HughesON, customers get one integrated view into everything that’s happening on the network. They come to our customer portal and are able to see it all. Whether it’s a cable, fiber, or satellite site, it’s all managed cohesively and efficiently through one viewpoint where they can see it all.
We‘re bullish on the future because technologies and application requirements will only continue to expand, making the justification for selecting a trusted HughesON service ever more viable—delivering the technologies, tools, solutions, and services customers need in a rapidly changing world.
Sign up to receive our seasonal Channels Newsletter