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Value-Added Reseller and Long-Time Customer Partners with Hughes to Grow Canadian Business
Whether situated in frozen tundra or wilderness areas across the great expanse of Canada– the second largest land mass in the world – numerous government offices, industrial enterprises, and research centers depend on high-speed connectivity to stay connected with the world.
“I don’t think most people understand how remote these areas are,” said Rick Hodgkinson, Galaxy Broadband President and CEO. “By and large, close to a majority of people rely on satellite communications as their only link to the outside world. There’s no cell phone coverage. You can’t even get in your truck and drive for two hours to find cell phone coverage.”
For mining operations, oil and gas exploration, utilities and emergency response agencies that need to operate in such areas, Galaxy is their answer to meeting this challenge.
Seeing the Need for Satellite Service
Galaxy Broadband – a long-term Hughes customer and value-added reseller – first identified the need for satellite Internet service in remote areas of Canada back in the early 2000s. At that time, Galaxy began selling service over the Hughes Direcway platform, and growing a solid base of enterprise customers with limited or no access to terrestrial broadband.
By 2006, Hodgkinson recalled, VoIP was a popular and necessary application among others, and it needed to bring customers tiered offerings with corresponding quality of service (QoS) levels. Hughes responded and the partners collaborated to create a range of customized plans. That sparked a series of market moves through the years. Galaxy was initially operating over the Hughes Ka-band Spaceway 3 satellite, but also used Ku-band capacity and then added spot-beams on the ANIK F2 satellite, employing multiple Hughes hubs to deliver high quality service to the extreme northern regions of the country, including areas north of 70 degrees latitude in the Arctic Circle. Today, Galaxy is one of the largest providers in Canada, with points of presence in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Mississauga, and even south of the border, in Seattle, WA.
Growing to Meet Changing Needs
Throughout its growth, Galaxy’s priority has been to deliver reliable communications solutions in remote hard-to-reach areas and to meet its customers’ needs – even as those needs have changed.
“Customers used to come to us looking for a link to the outside world,” he said. “But now, they have specific requirements to support applications, like SAP or high performance video, such as telemedicine and remote videoconferencing. The value proposition has improved as a result, because customers can see the value more clearly when we can get bandwidth intensive applications to work in isolated areas.”
After relying on the Hughes HN platform for more than 10 years, and adoption of the HX platform in 2013, Galaxy is now migrating to the next generation JUPITER™ System for greater efficiency and cost-savings. JUPITER is the world’s most widely deployed High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) platform, operating on more than 20 satellites by leading service providers, delivering a wide range of broadband enterprise, mobility and cellular backhaul applications.
With Galaxy’s deployment of JUPITER gateway hubs, the company will now have a dedicated system with significant expansion capabilities, supporting multiple satellites and beams, and deliver more bits per hertz to customers–which adds up to more capacity, and, more importantly, significant cost savings. With the Hughes upgrade kit, Galaxy will also be able to complete the upgrade of its remote equipment without having to swap out 100% of its gear, streamlining the installation process and its associated costs.
“Hughes has been a valuable and helpful partner in our growth,” Hodgkinson said. “We’ve come to know many of the Hughes team members and have established strong and important collaborative working relationships with them. And that has served us both very well.”