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It may have been the longest football trip in history. As excitement was building momentum in the weeks leading up the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, enthusiasts were dribbling a football, known in the U.S. as a soccer ball, more than 10,500 kilometers over land, sea, and air across 11 countries on two continents.
Similar to the Olympic Flame relay that precedes the World Olympic Games, the Big Kick football traveled from Germany, the venue for the 2006 World Cup, to South Africa, this year’s host nation, on an odyssey that took 46 days and ended 24 hours before the opening ceremony on June 11. As the ball made its way on a journey that scaled the heights of Kilimanjaro, took in the awesome sight of Victoria Falls, and trekked through the wildliferich Tanzanian bush, a video team filmed its progress.
During the journey, mobile connectivity posed a major challenge in countries with limited or no terrestrial telecom service. But, thanks to services provided by Hughes Europe, followers of “The Big Kick to Johannesburg” were able to stay up-to-date with the project.
Inmarsat’s BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) satellite service, coupled with Hughes 9201 BGAN terminals, offered the only communications solution that could provide the quality and coverage required for the African leg of the journey. The size of a laptop computer, fitting easily into a small backpack, the Hughes 9201 delivers highspeed data and voice communications over Inmarsat’s global BGAN network, which covers more than 85 percent of the earth’s surface, including some of its most remote areas.
The Hughes-provided BGAN solution delivered rugged, yet easy-to-use connectivity in linking Africa with the rest of the world, and enabled the team to send pictures and video daily via Deutsche Telekom’s Munich-based data center. Numerous events were held along the way as the ball traveled through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, and South Africa, with daily video coverage powered by Hughes satellite service.
Sponsored by HMI, a subsidiary of German insurance giant Ergo Versicherung, the Big Kick project raised €150,000 for “Ein Herz für Kinder,” “A Heart for Children” charity that undertakes major relief projects in Africa such as education and AIDS prevention.
“The Big Kick project in Africa demonstrates Hughes’ unmatched ability to provide mobile connectivity on a truly global basis,” said Christopher Britton, managing director of Hughes Europe. “In addition to supporting important charitable causes, the Hughes 9201 and the Inmarsat BGAN service are regularly being used to meet today’s growing demand for applications such as media broadcast, telemedicine, and disaster relief.”
And while World Cup fever was building, the Hughes-provided BGAN service meant that fans around the world could support a worthy cause and, at the same time, never miss a kick—even before the World Cup started.
The hot topic at Hughes seminars this year from Johannesburg to Moscow to Singapore was the high capacity and advanced capabilities of Ka-band satellite technology, as evidenced by the Hughes SPACEWAY® 3 satellite system in North America and Avanti’s Hylas 1 and 2 satellites soon to be launched over Europe.
Hughes presented its latest technology offerings, including a full spectrum of advanced Ka- and Ku-band technologies, on-the-move platforms, and its vision of the Satellite Home of the Future. Over 100 participants attended each seminar, representing service providers, system integrators, and satellite operators, as well as key government officials and media.
The company unveiled its new HN9400 router, designed to deliver the maximum performance on either Ka- or Ku-band satellite platforms. The HN9400 is the first to incorporate advanced low-density parity check (LDPC) coding, making it the ideal solution to deliver the most bandwidthintensive services on today’s satellites—while being future-proof for next-generation, high-throughput Ka-band systems.
“Together, we are bringing high-quality broadband satellite connectivity to businesses, government agencies, schools, and homes, helping to close the digital divide and grow the economy in all regions,” said Robert Feierbach, vice president of global sales and marketing, International Division at Hughes.
Today, advancements in satellite technology are making it possible to deliver cost-effective broadband communications services to aircraft operating at very high rates of speed. As a result of these advancements, commercial, government, and military organizations alike are leveraging the power of broadband by satellite—in the air.
As the demand for high-speed Internet access explodes around the world, Wi-Fi hotspots are popping up everywhere from São Paulo to Nova Scotia, from Beijing to Bangalore. Now, thanks to advanced Hughes satellite technology, they’re taking off for the skies.
Major U.S. carrier Southwest Airlines is equipping its 540 Boeing 737 jetliners with an onboard high-speed, wireless Internet system supplied by Row 44, a leader in airborne broadband communications. Powered by a Hughes HX satellite communications platform and nationwide broadband connectivity utilizing Hughes teleport facilities in Las Vegas, the Row 44 system enables Southwest to offer passengers high-speed Web browsing, email, text messaging, and video services using their Wi-Fi-enabled cellphones, PDAs, and laptop computers.
Row 44 is creatively named for the last row on a DC-10 commercial jet, considered the least desirable part of the plane—near the bathroom and without reclining seats. Because what could be better than broadband to make that row highly desirable?
“We think Internet access will become standard on all airlines in the near future and that our service will be aboard more than 5,000 airliners within five years,” said Gregg Fialcowitz, president of Row 44.
With onboard Wi-Fi Internet access at speeds comparable to terrestrial broadband, the Row 44 solution offers a full range of connectivity services. Its IPTV capability features live international television programming, as well as an extensive library of on-demand content. And the in-flight mobile phone service via picocells enables customers to use their cellphones for text messaging and emails, and to use cellphones and VoIP handsets for voice, where permitted.
“Row 44 opens up a worldwide opportunity for Hughes to supply our advanced broadband satellite technology and services in this new niche market, representing an emerging part of our global enterprise business,” said Peter Pardee, vice president, Business Development at Hughes.”
But it’s not just customers who can benefit from Row 44’s new aeronautical services. The innovative broadband solution can also help manage many crew and airline operations, such as equipment and systems monitoring, “cashless cabin” realtime credit card authorizations, cabin surveillance, maintenance and service requests, and the delivery of weather and route information.
Today, with its aeronautical broadband service powered by Hughes satellite technology, Row 44 is truly giving broadband wings—a longawaited innovation whose time has come.
At the same time, recent advances in airborne broadband are showing enormous potential for providing high-quality video to enable crucial situational awareness on the ground for border patrols, military reconnaissance, and other government applications.
Hughes, in conjunction with partners Row 44, TECOM Industries, Inc., Streambox, and Intelsat General Corporation, has developed a groundbreaking airborne video solution, which was successfully demonstrated to a key government agency earlier this year. The demonstration confirmed full D-1 video resolution at air-to-ground user data rates of over 2 Mbps. (Read more.)
The Hughes Airborne Video Solution employs a high-performance Hughes HX router and HX ExpertNMS, its advanced network management system with a highly intuitive and interactive interface to optimize performance and productivity. Hughes is building on its commercial aviation broadband offering, facilitating adoption of a COTS-based solution by the airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) community.
The demo took place on Row 44’s flying testbed aircraft, based out of Camarillo, California, and outfitted with TECOM Industries, Inc. KuStream™ 1000 bi-directional Ku-band antenna, and Streambox’s highly secure video coding and viewing subsystem. Intelsat General provided the communications link for the demonstration via its Horizon-1@127°W satellite.
“Our airborne technology has advanced rapidly,” said Rick Lober, vice president and general manager of Hughes Defense and Intelligence Systems Division. “Our new airborne video solution features speeds five times greater than what is currently available—enabling groundbreaking speed at an affordable cost. We see a significant market for government and military applications of this airborne solution.”
Built on a proven COTS-based platform, this progressive solution developed by a stellar partnership of industry leaders will enhance situational awareness for military and government workforces—and better enable them to complete their missions successfully.
To learn more about the Hughes Airborne Video Solution, please visit defense.hughes.com/resources/airborne-2-minutes.
The Hughes User Group, also known as the HUG, brings enterprise and government customers together with Hughes representatives to discuss common issues, network with industry peers, and drive innovation. Facilitating close collaboration between Hughes and its customers, the HUG leverages customer knowledge, ideas, and experience, enabling the company to better meet customer needs and helping customers to get the most out of Hughes solutions.
HUG 2010 was held in April in Tampa, Florida, where participants elected a new Board of Directors. Congratulations and a hearty welcome to the new team:
“Participating in the HUG is an excellent way for organizations to exchange information and forge relationships, especially when considering network upgrades and service expansion,” said Dilbag Johal, vice president, Hughes North America Division.
The next HUG meeting is scheduled for Spring 2011. For more information about participating in the HUG, contact your Hughes program manager.
Hughes Communications India Ltd. was named Best VSAT Operator in India at the Telecom Operator Awards ceremony held recently in New Delhi. The prestigious award, which recognizes companies that demonstrate outstanding performance in delivering world-class results in service and support in the telecom sector, was presented to Partho Banerjee, president and managing director of HCIL, by Nripendra Misra and Pradip Baijal, both former chairmen of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
“The award selection was done on the basis of an extensive survey conducted among a carefully selected group of professionals and sector experts between January and March of 2010,” said Shampa Bahadur, editor of Tele.net magazine. “Of the 500 plus professionals we approached, approximately 280 responded, and from the various nominees, Hughes Communications India emerged the winner by a wide margin, winning twice as many votes as its peers.”
Boasting an immense rainforest and the world’s most voluminous river, the Brazilian State of Amazonas is home to the richest biodiversity on the planet. But the geography of this magnificent state, whose forest covers 98 percent of its land mass, also presents a daunting challenge for the delivery of high-speed Internet service on a large scale.
As the data processing company of the State of Amazonas, PRODAM provides specialized IT-based services to agencies and departments of the state administration. The huge territory and limited terrestrial infrastructure presented the company with a seemingly insurmountable challenge to provide high-speed Internet connectivity to all 61 municipalities in the state.
In Brazil, wireless WiMAX and Wi-Fi access technologies have become increasingly important in delivering broadband connectivity for end users. But backhauling traffic to and from wireless sites using fiber or other terrestrial systems is cost-prohibitive over large coverage areas like Amazonas. To solve this challenge, PRODAM defined a turnkey broadband networking system that combines wireless access and satellite backhaul technologies, and turned to Hughes to deliver the solution. Using this novel solution, PRODAM today provides highspeed wireless Internet service throughout all the municipalities of Amazonas to a wide range of customers, including government agencies, small businesses, and consumers.
The 36-month contract calls for Hughes to install and operate WiMAX and Wi-Fi wireless base stations in every municipality, together with over 900 wireless customer premises terminals, all delivered as an integrated service over its nationwide broadband satellite network. Each base station includes a high-performance Hughes HX broadband satellite router, which manages the backhauling of IP traffic over satellite channels to the HX hub located in the state capital of Manaus. The hub, in turn, is connected to PRODAM’s data center and to the Internet.
The PRODAM project is the first large-scale deployment of satellite backhaul with last-mile wireless access in Brazil.
“We govern an immense state that has continental dimensions,” said Eduardo Braga, governor of the State of Amazonas. “This technology enhances our ability to better govern the entire territory, improving the dissemination of information to our citizens and assisting decisionmaking in all areas of the administration, be it health, education, public security, or the environment.”
According to Alexandre Guimarães, technical director of PRODAM, “No single technology was enough to handle the enormous challenges of such limited terrestrial infrastructure in bringing Internet connectivity to all municipalities in Amazonas. But after intensive study, we used a blend of today’s advanced technologies to develop a hybrid solution and selected Hughes to provide the best technology and the most efficient implementation of our solution.”
The PRODAM/Hughes solution, which was deployed at the rate of five municipalities per month, includes both WiMAX networks connecting various public agencies and Wi-Fi hot spots for wireless, public Internet access.
With its innovative, high-speed Internet solution, PRODAM is not only solving connectivity problems in the State of Amazonas, but also enriching the lives of its people, who now have access to high-quality voice and data services through the power of combined satellite and wireless technologies.
Things are normally quiet in the Lance Formation of eastern Wyoming. The song of the meadowlarks, the rugged hills, and the brilliant blue skies as far as the eye can see give little hint of the teeming Old West of the 1800s when wagon trains carried pioneers dreaming of a new life. Nor, at first glance, does the buff-colored sandstone or green shale tell of centuries earlier when floods may have washed the remains of dinosaurs many miles from where they roamed.
But every year during the month of June, a private cattle ranch on the Lance Formation is abuzz with activity as more than 35 students and participants carefully excavate the long-buried bones of thousands of Upper Cretaceous dinosaurs in this rich deposit. The Dinosaur Project, also known as the Dinodig, is run by Southwestern Adventist University, with additional funding through the nonprofit Earth History Research Center.
The team excavates more than 1,000 bones each June and spends the rest of the year preparing and curating the bones into the university’s collection. Several years ago, the usual excitement reached new heights when the crew discovered the remains of what may be the rare species Nanotyrannus lancensis. If validated, this find would be the third known specimen of the species in the world.
“We do world-class science here,” said Dinodig project director Dr. Art Chadwick. “We have innovated in several key areas that allow us to gain an extremely accurate picture of our study area, and we push the envelope further every season.”
An important part of the Dinodig project is to send data and photos back to the university daily. But connectivity is a serious hurdle on a remote ranch one hour from the nearest town in the least populated county of the least populated state, where the crew needs to climb a certain hill to get reliable cell phone service. That’s why the Dinodig project uses HughesNet® high-speed satellite service delivered over the SPACEWAY® 3 satellite system, the world’s first commercial satellite with onboard switching and routing.
The data collected by the scientists is irreplaceable, and the HughesNet service enables them to send daily backups to the university. The team uses high-precision GPS (global positioning system) equipment to record the location of each bone within millimeters and GIS (geographic information system) software to analyze and produce an integrated picture, as well as a Web-based catalog so that the results may be available to researchers worldwide.
“I cannot overstate how well HughesNet is working for us, especially this season,” said Justin Woods, technical director for the Dinodig project. “We’re using the HN9000 modem and the best dish and service plan. It’s exactly what we needed—super fast and rock solid.”
The HughesNet connectivity has also allowed the Dinodiggers to post daily video blogs on YouTube to give followers a sense of what it’s really like to be on a dinosaur dig. In addition, the team strings together hundreds of images into a single panorama that is posted to the Web in an online dinosaur museum.
But the dinosaur hunters use HughesNet for more than official work. The high-speed satellite service also helps with day-to-day life—boosting morale and providing connectivity to family and friends. “It would be much harder to recruit staff if they just went into a black hole for a month,” said Woods. “But with HughesNet, they can check email, go on Facebook, and talk over the phone via Skype.”
Occasionally, intense weather conditions prevent work in the quarries. When this happens, many of the participants use the time to catch up on email and browse the Internet. “Even with 30 people using the system at the same time, the stability and speed of HughesNet has been great,” added Woods. “The satellite link is our most vital link. It’s irreplaceable.”
With nearly 3,000 bones that Web viewers can rotate in 3D and a map that shows the location where each bone was found in the quarry, anyone can study The Dinosaur Project’s rich collection of bones and become a part of this exciting project. Visit http://dinodig.swau.edu to view the photo gallery, read field notes—and experience the excavation site.
More and more workers in the U.S. federal government are telecommuting every year. This growth comes in part from federal mandates that require agencies to establish telework policies. But much of the growth of telework can be traced to its benefits. For the agency, telework lowers overhead costs, increases productivity, and improves the ability to attract a well-rounded workforce. For the worker, telework offers a better work-life balance, convenience, and reduced traffic congestion.
But perhaps the most important benefit of telework is its function as the ideal management tool for continuity of operations (COOP) in the event of a disaster. With a telework system in place, managers and workers can maintain critical functionality from a network of highly distributed home offices and alternate facilities during emergencies. Key government personnel can then provide an additional layer of vital communications to ensure COOP.
A recent Webcast, hosted by The Telework Exchange and Hughes, “Maintaining a Secure Telework Network—IT and Management Best Practices,” focused on practical approaches for working in a remote environment. Agency and industry representatives discussed tips for implementing successful telework programs and discussed best practices for setting up a secure network for teleworkers and how to address challenges of a mobile workforce. For more information about the Webinar, visit http://www.teleworkexchange.com/maintainingasecurenetwork.
According to the Office of Personnel Management, teleworking during the major snowstorms of February 2010 allowed the federal government to save up to $30 million each day. In addition, according to The Telework Exchange, if all eligible federal government employees teleworked two days per week, they would collectively save over $781 million a year. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a federal leader in promoting telework, reported that its 1,300 patent examiners who have relinquished their offices have saved the agency over $11 million in office space.
Federal agencies rely on sophisticated network technologies to connect theirfixed locations. These networks are private and secure, with dedicated communications circuits on a national, and sometimes global, scale, and managed by a team of government and industry personnel. However, extending these cohesive networks to the growing telework population has not been effectively implemented.
In addition, procurement of telework communications services varies by agency. The telework force is served by multiple vendors providing different services—DSL, cable, fiber, satellite broadband, or dial-up. In some cases, teleworkers select their own service providers. This disparate approach results in varying levels of service quality, performance, and security, with reimbursements to individual employees and/or payments to multiple vendors.
Fortunately, there is a better way: Hughes Telework Solutions. Comprehensive and fully managed, Hughes Telework Solutions ensures a uniform, high-quality network across the entire telework force, regardless of location. Hughes Telework Solutions, based on Hughes Optimized Network Services, employs the most cost-effective technology at each teleworker site—whether DSL, cable, or satellite—and as an integrated teleworker program with a single network, a single provider, and a single bill.
That’s why today, more and more government agencies are relying on Hughes Telework Solutions to support their telework initiatives with integrated satellite, terrestrial, and wireless broadband—helping to ensure COOP, control costs, and improve worker quality of life.
Hughes Communications, Inc. announced strong third quarter 2009 results with record growth in the consumer business, strong services revenue growth, record adjusted EBITDA, and a solid cash performance.
Snapshot of Third Quarter 2009 Financial Results
Consumer business set new records with impressive growth over the third quarter of 2008:
Record third quarter subscriber gross adds of 50,000, an increase of 14%
Record third quarter subscriber net adds of 17,000 for growth of 49%.
Services revenue increased by 19%.
Revenue of $251 million compared to $272 million in the third quarter of 2008.
Record third quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $44 million, an increase of 13% over the third quarter of 2008.
New orders of $208 million, with major orders from GTECH, Burger King, Social Security
Administration, Row 44, Equiva, Yum! Brands, LodgeNet, Barrett Xplore, and Rite Aid in North America. Major orders from international customers included World Bank, Ethiopian Telecom, BP Spain, Martins Brazil, and NIT Nigeria. Strong non-consumer backlog of $822 million at September 30, 2009
Positive cash from operations of $74 million compared to $26 million in the third quarter of 2008
Snapshot of Financial Results for Nine Months Ending September 30, 2009
Revenue of $747 million compared to $775 million in the nine month period ended September 2008, a 1% decline on a constant dollar basis.
Services revenue up 13% over the nine month period ended September 2008, 16% on a constant dollar basis. Broadband services revenue up 13%, 17% on a constant dollar basis.
Adjusted EBITDA of $117 million for a growth of 10% over the nine month period ended September 30, 2008.
Total subscribers of 490,000 at September 30, 2009 reflecting a growth of 16% over the subscriber base at September 30, 2008.
Positive cash from operations of $111 million compared to $40 million in the nine months ended September 30, 2008.
In May, Hughes announced the formation of Hughes Network Systems Australia Pty. Ltd., also known as Hughes Australia, demonstrating the company’s commitment to serve this strategic and rapidly growing market, particularly in the area of Ka-band satellite technology and services.
“We congratulate the Australian government on its mission to bridge the digital divide across this vast and beautiful country,” said Pradman Kaul, CEO of Hughes. “Satellite is the ideal technology to bring high-speed Internet services to homes and offices affordably, even in the least populated areas, and establishing this office means we can engage more actively in helping fulfill that mission.”
Hughes sees this expansion as an important next step in its global services strategy, positioning the company to better serve this growing region and to expand on its successful 20-year-plus record of supplying satellite broadband technology to major operators in Australia.
A cappuccino while you browse the Internet at your favorite coffee shop? Or how about a hamburger at the local diner while you catch up with email? Today, thanks to free Wi-Fi, it’s a familiar scene at restaurants, hotels, and convenience stores where customers with laptops and smart phones sip, dine, and use the Internet to work, chat, and browse.
McDonald’s restaurants began offering customers free guest Wi-Fi at more than 11,000 locations throughout the U.S. in January. Starbucks introduced a similar offering in July at over 7,500 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
The move will accelerate a trend in businesses such as restaurant and hospitality, and other industries are expected to soon follow suit. With thousands of establishments offering free Wi-Fi service, many customers are now making dining and travel decisions based on its availability. In effect, guest Wi-Fi has become a cost of doing business as well as a tool to encourage greater foot traffic into stores and businesses.
But more than just looking for a costeffective, premium guest Wi-Fi service for their establishments, many businesses today are also seeking ways to get the greatest value possible out of their networks. They need look no further than the new portfolio of Hughes enterprise Wi-Fi Solutions, which not only provides a premium guest Wi-Fi service, but also delivers value-added applications such as enterprise Wi-Fi and rogue wireless scanning.
The guest Wi-Fi component of the solution cost-effectively enables companies to create a dynamic, interesting, and secure experience for customers and guests, while ensuring security of personal information for PCI compliance. To protect operators from legal liabilities, the guest Wi-Fi solution provides a customized splash page with terms and conditions the user must agree to. The page doubles as a marketing opportunity for the retailer to present branding messages.
The enterprise Wi-Fi component of the solution delivers enterprise-grade wireless connectivity that enables employees to use mobile devices to access training materials and other job-related information. For example, during peak sales hours, store employees can check inventory and speed up the checkout process by conducting pre-checkouts with handheld scanners.
Along with convenience, the widespread availability of Wi-Fi technology has also brought new security threats, prompting the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Council to issue new guidelines requiring retailers to ensure the security of the cardholder data environment by regularly scanning all sites for wireless threats. Hughes Wi-Fi Solutions offer a wireless scanning service that includes everything a retailer needs for compliance—software, hardware, monitoring, and reporting. Supporting standard Wi-Fi frequencies, including the recently ratified 802.11N, the system exceeds PCI requirements by continuously monitoring all sites. In addition, the service provides automated remote containment of suspected rogue access points for added protection before a security breach can spread.
In addition to integrating guest and enterprise Wi-Fi with wireless scanning, Hughes Wi-Fi Solutions also deliver Internet access to run the solutions, as well as anti-spam, anti-virus, and Web content filtering features—for a one-stop solution. The comprehensive offering includes equipment, installation, field maintenance, call center support, and consulting services to help customers plan, brand, and deploy the service to their specifications.
Since businesses need to make a Wi-Fi investment to remain competitive and to satisfy regulatory requirements, it only makes sense to leverage Hughes integrated Wi-Fi Solutions to get the best value today—and to create growth opportunity for the future.
Today, we’re seeing a tidal wave of broadband adoption across North America. Virtually every human activity is being affected by broadband, and the need for bandwidth continues to grow at a healthy clip in all of our markets—enterprise, government, consumer, and small business.
Many enterprises today are building diverse networks, which makes the Hughes hybrid network concept—the ability to have two diverse technologies at every location—very popular. At the same time, no matter how much bandwidth enterprises procure, it is quickly consumed by new applications and requirements. To meet this burgeoning need, we’ve developed a branch server concept for distributed enterprises. This managed service not only supplies enterprise-wide network management, but also includes value-added services for branch locations such as optimizing Web access, accelerating protocols and applications, and overlaying a blanket of security to ensure safety of the network at these locations.
To meet critical enterprise security requirements, Hughes networks comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). We also help our enterprise customers achieve security certification, including meeting the recent PCI DSS requirement to scan for rogue wireless devices. Many customers are also adopting Hughes security services, including firewall devices with filtering that is updated regularly with the latest threats to halt attackers even as they come up with new schemes.
In addition to our key enterprise markets such as lottery, oil and gas, retail, and hospitality, we’ve also invested resources in the utility and transportation markets, including technology to provide broadband on airplanes and trains.
The government market continues to offer significant opportunity. Hughes holds major government contracts, including the GSA Schedule, SATCOM II, and Networx, and our business with the U.S. federal government, including the Government Education and Training Network (GETN) and the Social Security Administration network, continues to grow.
One of our recent exciting innovations is the Hughes Inter-Governmental Crisis Network (IGCN), a private “network of networks” that is instantly deployable and interoperable among multiple agencies and levels of government. With secure, alternate path communications, IGCN enables maximum preparedness and rapid response to any emergency, and we expect more and more agencies to adopt this powerful concept.
Hughes has also been awarded a number of contracts with state governments, including recent contracts with Texas, Oregon, and Colorado. Virtually every state has regions that cannot adequately be served with terrestrial telecommunications, creating an important opportunity to provide high-speed Internet access as well as backup services in case of emergency.
In addition, we’re seeing a wave of broadband applications in the defense sector, particularly in the airborne, maritime, and land mobile arenas, where there is a strong fit for our technology.
The tremendous bandwidth, onboard switching, and spot beam technology of our SPACEWAY® 3 satellite has enabled us to offer consumers and small businesses the fastest service plans ever, providing downloads starting at up to 1 Mbps and going as high as 5 Mbps. With 15,000 new HughesNet® subscriptions per month, we crossed the 500,000 subscriber milestone earlier this year, and we’re seeing very low churn rates, which we believe is attributable to speed, performance, and our focus on customer satisfaction.
The advancement of satellite technology and the ground systems that support it continues to drive significant market opportunity. Consider that on the first broadband networks in the mid-90s, we used satellites with about 700 Mbps of capacity. Fast forward to 2007 when we launched SPACEWAY 3 with 10 Gbps of capacity. And today, looking forward to the 2012 launch of our new satellite Jupiter™, we expect to exceed 100 Gbps. The unique mix of our legacy capacity, the SPACEWAY 3 capacity that allows terminals to connect to each other in a single hop, and Jupiter’s enormous capacity will allow us to provide a truly robust platform for the future.
One of the advantages Hughes brings to the marketplace is the scale, technology, and resources of a large service provider combined with the agility and flexibility of a mid-sized player. As we push hard on our technology, we also remain focused on the services we’re providing our customers—a strategy that has helped us transition from a technology business to a service business over the past 10 years. With our branch server concept, for example, we can provide services unequaled by any other provider, and I believe our future will center around our ability to harvest technologies in the services space.
The tidal wave of broadband requirements and growth will likely continue to expand throughout this decade and into the next. Communications requirements by individuals, businesses, and governments seem to be insatiable, and our unique ability to reach every pocket of North America with quality service positions us for strong growth well into the future.
Shopping locally has never gone out of style. Even with extensive use of the Internet for online purchases, many shoppers still like the hands-on experience of seeing a product in person, trying it out, and dealing with a member of the local community. Customers want to know who is selling them a product, who will install it—and, even more important, who will be there to provide service if there’s a problem. That’s why HughesNet® dealers are such an important link in the HughesNet sales channel.
HughesNet highspeed Internet service is a product of necessity for an estimated 12 to 14 million homes and small businesses that don’t have access to terrestrial broadband, primarily in suburban and rural areas. Nearly 1,500 dealers throughout the U.S. offer HughesNet to their communities. Often running family businesses, HughesNet dealers are entrepreneurs, highly experienced at working inside homes, running wire, and installing and connecting various products. It’s become routine for a dealer to sell HughesNet service one day, and be seen on the customer’s roof installing the system the next day.
Dealers account for nearly 20 percent of the HughesNet business, which is now running at approximately 15,000 new subscriptions per month, and recently crossed the 500,000 subscriber mark. Some dealers sell HughesNet exclusively; others offer HughesNet services alongside other products and services. But whether they sell satellite TV or home security, automation or theater systems, dealers constantly come into contact with consumers and small businesses with no high-speed Internet service. Just asking the question, “How do you connect to the Internet?” creates an immediate, no-cost business opportunity for the dealer.
“We had so many TV customers who wanted Internet service that it was a simple step for us to sell HughesNet,” said Paul Mathias of MT Communications, a dealer in Medford, Wisconsin. “Now our Internet customers have grown to 90 percent of our business.”
In June, at its Maryland headquarters, Hughes held its first Dealer Summit, attended by nearly 100 top dealers. The summit provided an excellent venue for dealers and the Hughes team to meet face-to-face, discuss ideas, and plan for the future. One of the goals of the summit was to grow the business in the local channel. Members of the Hughes team took the opportunity to present new programs and technologies, provide tours of the state-ofthe-art manufacturing facilities and network operations center—and listen. Dealers used the opportunity to share ideas on marketing and selling strategies, and to provide feedback to the team.
“Dealers are very important to us. We can’t be successful unless they are successful,” said Allen McCabe, assistant vice president of Channel Sales. “The local dealer, the local presence in the marketplace, local advertising, local installation, and local support are essential for moving products and services.”
The launch of HughesNet service over the revolutionary SPACEWAY® 3 satellite in 2008 enabled dealers to offer the fastest service plans ever, with downloads starting at up to 1 Mbps and going as high as up to 5 Mbps. And it will only get better. Planned for launch in 2012, Jupiter™ is the next-generation satellite from Hughes. With over 100 Gbps capacity, it will bring even higher capacity and value-added services to customers across North America.
“I’ve been working with Hughes for more than 10 years,” said Wayne Martinez from WM, Inc., a dealer in Trinidad, Colorado. “Hughes is committed to the future of satellite and I intend to prosper with their growth.”
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