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On July 5, 2012 at 5:36 p.m. eastern time, EchoStar® XVII, the Hughes next-generation Ka-band satellite with JUPITER™ high-throughput technology, was successfully launched and placed into geostationary transfer orbit by Arianespace from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Built by Space Systems/Loral and designed to deliver well in excess of 100 Gbps throughput, EchoStar XVII sets the stage for HughesNet Gen4—the Hughes fourth-generation satellite Internet service, bringing dramatically increased performance and capacity.
After the satellite was successfully positioned into its geostationary orbital slot 22,300 miles above the equator at 107.1° West longitude, extensive testing commenced on July 23, including satellite bus and payload tests. Hughes will subsequently deploy its JUPITER high-throughput technology, commissioning gateways and test terminals around the U.S., with commercial operations expected to begin this fall.
EchoStar XVII will expand the total capacity for HughesNet service to over 1.5 million new subscribers in North America, building on the current base of more than 640,000 subscribers, which represents both the world’s largest consumer satellite Internet service and the largest Ka-band technology network. Employing a multi-spot beam, bent pipe Ka-band architecture, the new geostationary satellite has a capacity equivalent to approximately 80 conventional Ku-band satellites.
“The addition of EchoStar XVII with JUPITER high-throughput technology to our existing satellite capacity, ground network, and services takes satellite Internet to the next dimension,” said Pradman Kaul, president of Hughes. “Our HughesNet Gen4 customers will be able to enjoy a media-rich world like never before.”