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In July, Hughes introduced another game changer to the satellite broadband marketplace. The successful launch of our EchoStar® XVII satellite with JUPITER™ high-throughput technology brings well over 100 Gbps of capacity to our satellite fleet—approximately 14 times that of SPACEWAY® 3, and translating to roughly 140 times the capacity we had only a few short years ago to deliver high-speed HughesNet® satellite Internet service in North America.
But technology is only as good as what you do with it. That’s why we are unleashing our new HughesNet Gen4 service, which will leverage the considerable capabilities of both EchoStar XVII and SPACEWAY 3 to deliver more choices and greater speeds to consumers and small businesses everywhere in North America. People are using the Internet more and more every day—more apps, more bandwidth, more rich media. And in a typical household they’re increasingly using multiple devices, such as tablets and smart phones, in addition to laptops and PCs. HughesNet Gen4 is all about providing a powerful and flexible service platform that supports these trends.
Closing the digital divide is an important part of our mission, and HughesNet Gen4 will enable us to accomplish that. Our goal is to bring high-quality broadband Internet access to people everywhere, no matter where they may live or work, focusing particularly on those who don’t have adequate coverage from terrestrial broadband. Estimates show that number to be somewhere in the region of 14 million households, of which nearly 5 million still use dial-up for Internet access today. Just consider trying to access today’s rich media content on dial-up; you could easily take a walk and return to find that photo or video download still not completed! HughesNet Gen4 will deliver the same high quality of service whether inside or outside urban America, with a portfolio of offerings to suit every budget.
HughesNet Gen4 also offers us a tremendous opportunity for growth. New distribution agreements we’ve recently signed with leading providers such as DISH and Xplornet Canada position us well to rapidly expand our existing base of over 640,000 HughesNet subscribers to an additional 1.5 million or more. HughesNet Gen4 is a robust, high-speed Internet service, which many communities can’t get today, and we anticipate that it will further drive growth of our consumer business, and indeed that of the company.
Hughes has always been the leader in broadband satellite. We invented commercial VSAT technology, and started the satellite enterprise business back in the mid-80s, and since then have not only spearheaded its growth across the globe to over 100 countries, but also created the consumer sector. A key aspect of our leadership is to listen very carefully to our customers. After all, connecting customers is what our business is all about—and we work hard to earn their trust and loyalty, counting them from among the world’s best known major brands to the smallest shop owners and individual residences. Our goal is the same for all: To deliver high-quality technology and services that enable them to do more in the broadband world of the future.
Looking forward, the one certainty in this broadband world is growing demand for higher speeds and more Internet-based applications, which means more and more bandwidth. In fact, the Internet is becoming the enabler for a technology revolution in the home and a future of smart devices—from kitchen and laundry appliances, to security systems, to energy management systems—all connected to the Internet. We’ll see the use of rich media continue to soar. The game will constantly be changing, and Hughes will continue to bring innovative technology and services to market, which will further unleash the many benefits of HughesNet Gen4 for our valued customers. We welcome you to join us on this exciting journey.