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Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, North America
In this issue, we speak with Mike Cook about the exciting number of Hughes innovations announced this year.
Hughes kicked off 2017 with a host of announcements. Is there a theme or common thread in all of these?
Yes, there is a clear and simple theme: Innovation Delivered. This is a very exciting year for everyone at Hughes because we are rolling out a number of major projects we’ve been working on for some time. Several encompass significant advances in technology, and taken together they demonstrate once again why Hughes continues to lead the market by not only creating innovative solutions but by delivering them as promised to our customers. Nothing is more rewarding to all of us than seeing them in action. And may I mention that we were again ranked as the global VSAT industry leader in the latest COMSYS Report (14th Edition, April 2017), with over 50% market share in both enterprise and consumer sectors. But to maintain that position demands a consistent and focused effort from everyone at Hughes, at every level and in every department.
Can you highlight some of the biggest innovations for 2017? Is there any one in particular that you’re most excited about?
At the top of the list is that Hughes has launched the world’s largest and fastest broadband satellite network. In fact, when you add up the capacities of our satellite fleet it exceeds 400 Gbps and reaches across most of North and South America. It includes the brand new EchoStar XIX — the world’s largest capacity satellite at over 200 Gbps, EchoStar XVII at over 100 Gbps, plus a Ka-band payload at 65W which launched in 2016, and another at 63W planned in 2018. Our award-winning JUPITER System is hands-down the most deployed VSAT platform by satellite operators worldwide, and today there are 49 Hughes-operated gateways in multiple countries, serving more than 1 million subscribers, with our latest terminals capable of over 100 Mbps user data throughput. All of that adds up to the unprecedented capability for Hughes to deliver comprehensive Internet access across the Americas, and together with our service provider customers the opportunity to use our technology to connect millions of people wherever they live, work, and play.
Tell us a bit more about the latest advancements in the JUPITER System.
Our JUPITER System is the first VSAT platform with System on a Chip (SoC) technology incorporating the latest DVB-S2X air interface standard, wideband 250 MHz carriers operating at more than 1 Gbps, and with throughputs of over 100 Mbps on every terminal. Technically speaking, this latest chip — or what we call the SoC-2 — has 6 processors for multiple application support, and integrates Quality of Service management. What that means for customers is that JUPITER delivers greater efficiency, speed, and reliability whether operating on high-throughput or conventional satellites. We’ve also released a series of new JUPITER terminals, the HT2000 product line, with support for faster processing and accelerated TCP sessions, some of which offer integrated dual-band Wi-Fi capabilities.
How will all of this impact the consumer? What benefits will they see?
HughesNet® Gen5 is here! Operating over EchoStar XIX with JUPITER high-throughput technology, HughesNet Gen5 is America’s first truly coast-to-coast Internet service to offer 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds and which meets the FCC’s broadband definition. It’s sometimes hard to believe there are places in the US without access to high speed Internet, but there are more than 10 million households either unserved or underserved by terrestrial providers. With HughesNet Gen5, our customers will enjoy faster speeds, more data, and more advanced features — like built-in Wi-Fi, which lets them connect wireless devices throughout their home. With HughesNet Gen5, customers can live and work in the places they love and still stay connected. For many of them, that’s a game changer.
For consumers outside the US, we launched the first deployment of HughesNet in Brazil mid-2016 and already have signed up over 60,000 subscribers — which reflects the large pent up demand in largely unserved or underserved areas. We have great plans to launch service in Colombia next and in many more South American countries during 2018.
Which innovation will have the biggest impact for government organizations or for enterprises?
There are several, but the one that deserves special mention is our new Managed SD-WAN solution. Software-defined wide area networking, referred to as SD-WAN, has emerged as a promising solution that can solve a lot of issues faced by older, legacy enterprise systems. The biggest challenge is whether an older network is powerful enough to handle new cloud-based and rich-media applications that arrive on the network almost daily, driving the need for dramatic increases in bandwidth and availability. This demand can bring a network to its knees, especially at the branch level. While an SD-WAN solution can deliver high performance, better resiliency, non-stop application availability, and improved security, it can be a challenge for distributed organizations to deploy.
Hughes has solved the problem by coupling SD-WAN with our HughesOn Managed Network Services, which features our ActiveTechnologies™ portfolio of advanced network tools. The new Hughes Managed SD-WAN can enable an enterprise to experience faster, more cost-effective broadband and to maintain application availability and performance even in the event of access line failures. It also delivers stronger security and can be readily integrated into an existing network, be it DSL, cable or MPLS.
The impact for government or enterprise customers will be monumental. Hughes Managed SD-WAN will finally enable them to ensure consistent high-speed performance and Quality of Service levels at all of their branch sites, regardless of network infrastructure or location.
Another exciting innovation in this market space is Hughes HTS – a brand new suite of service plans that provide enterprises and government organizations with satellite primary and back-up solutions operating at up to 50 Mbps, by leveraging the Hughes JUPITER System and our Echostar XIX and XVII satellites. Integrated into the HughesOn suite, it combines with our strong security services and ActiveTechnologies to present a compelling high performance yet low cost option for enterprise network deployment.
Any other innovations or announcements you’d like to highlight?
Perhaps one last one: our JUPITER Aero System. It builds on the success of our first generation system that powers broadband services for partners like Global Eagle on hundreds of commercial planes in the US and internationally, and is designed to provide passengers with uninterrupted high-speed Internet access around the globe. The onboard technology includes a high-performance JUPITER terminal with dual Ka-band and Ku-band antennas, fully compatible with both wide-beam and spot-beam satellites, and which supports rapid switching between beams and satellites, without session loss as an aircraft traverses the coverage area. It will deliver that same kind of high-speed Web browsing experience travelers have come to expect at their homes or offices, delivered seamlessly over different satellites as they hurtle across the sky.
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