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Getting the right message to the right audience at the right time and place is one of the most pressing communications challenges faced by businesses, government agencies, and other organizations today. Strong business communications can open the door to a positive customer and constituent experience, lower employee turnover, and provide a consistent brand message. But amid today’s noise and competing messages, business communications often get lost in the fray.
One of the key steps to strong communication is attracting attention, and when it comes to drawing the eye, nothing beats video and high-impact graphics. That’s why digital media holds such great promise as one of the solutions to this thorny issue. Far more than just replacing posters and memos with LCD screens, digital signage offers a dynamic communications solution that delivers targeted messaging based on variables such as audience, location, and time of day. As a result, digital signage is generating considerable interest from leaders in both industry and government.
A digital signage solution employs strategically placed, high-definition screens that display dynamic video, text, and graphics at any number of locations simultaneously. For example, retail businesses can engage customers at the point of decision with targeted high-impact messaging that may change based on the location and time of day, to increase revenue, build profitability, and improve the overall customer experience. Similarly, organizations can use digital media to inform and train employees, building a stronger, more engaged workforce that is more likely to help create a culture of success within the company.
That’s why organizations are turning to HughesONTM Digital Media Solutions, a portfolio of innovative, turnkey managed services designed to enable businesses to unleash the power of digital media to engage customers, constituents, and employees when and where it has the most impact. From live TV, video-on-demand, and corporate communi- cations, to training, customer service, news, and localized information, Hughes can tailor a solution that meets business needs—whether the goal is to improve employee performance, enhance corporate branding, or build customer loyalty.
“In today’s world, consumers and guests are watching television on their tablets and tracking business results on their smartphones,” said Mike Tippets, vice president of the Hughes Solutions Group. “Digital media will help create a great customer experience and a strong workforce that result in loyal customers, employees, and guests.”
For any target audience, the primary communications goal is to deliver the message in a way that impacts and influences viewers. HughesON Digital Media Solutions offer a cost-ef- fective, organization-wide solution to manage, schedule, and deploy digital media, ensuring that the right message gets to the right people at the right time. More than just a screen, it’s a powerful communications solution, managed by a trusted partner, that influences customers, constitu- ents, and employees where and when it matters most.
Banks around the world are increasingly adopting digital signage as a means to improve the customer banking experience. In a survey of more than 200 retail and marketing executives from large- and medium-sized banks across the globe, 9 out of 10 identify digital signage as an important component of in-branch marketing. The survey was published in the “2013 Digital Signage in Retail Financial Services” study, which is based on annual research conducted by John Ryan, well-respected provider of retail marketing solutions and messaging systems to financial institutions.
Satellite technology is ideally suited for the delivery of digital messaging, and with a powerful set of capabilities, including up to 60 Mbps of multicast throughput, the Hughes HX90 Broadband Satellite System is an ideal platform for delivering digital signage solutions to many locations. That’s why SSL Digital recently awarded Hughes a contract for 1,400 HX90 broadband satellite terminals to deliver digital video and signage content to Banorte-Ixe, the third largest bank in Mexico.
Mexico City-based SSL Digital will install the terminals at more than 1,300 Banorte-Ixe branches, plus corporate buildings across the country. SSL Digital is the largest service provider of digital signage solutions to banks in Mexico, managing more than 18,000 screens across 10,500 locations. They will manage the Banorte-Ixe network based on a previously operational Hughes HX System, distributing training videos, advertising, and other visual content to bank, cinema, and retail customers and employees, with Hughes providing local technical support, including network design, configuration, and service from its Mexico City office. The new service will give Banorte-Ixe visually interactive technologies to improve the banking experience and communicate more effectively with customers.
“The efficiency and reliability of the HX System has been excellent, and the scalability enables us to effectively deliver new services to clients such as Banorte-Ixe,” said William Narchi, CEO of SSL Digital. “Hughes has been a great supplier to SSL since 2009, delivering reliable technology and expert technical support.”
“Research shows that digital signage in banks influences customer purchase behavior, driving demand for new services such as online bill paying, direct deposit, and new mortgages or refinancing,” said Nick Marzella, vice president of Latin America sales at Hughes. “We are honored that SSL Digital has expanded its HX System in order to deliver this critical content to its most prestigious banking customer in Mexico.”
Indeed, as they continue to employ digital signage to deliver targeted messaging to specific customers, employees, and regions, financial institutions are taking important steps to enhance the customer experience, empower their branch associates, and reinforce their brands.
Hughes airborne broadband satellite technology is powering Global Eagle Entertainment’s inflight connectivity system to provide in-cabin services on more than 550 aircraft globally. Building on successful deployments in North America, Europe, Africa, and Russia, Hughes in partnership with Global Eagle Entertainment, has recently signed a contract with Thaicom Public Company Limited (Thaicom), a leading satellite communications provider in Asia Pacific, expanding the availability of state-of-the- art in-flight connectivity across Thailand and Southeast Asia.
Kazteleradio Corporation, Kazakh- stan’s national broadcasting operator, has implemented the first phase of a comprehensive Hughes HX broadband satellite solution to monitor and control the country’s national digital terrestrial DVB-T2 standard television network. One of the largest networks of its kind, the solution comprises two redundant HX gateways located in Almaty and Astana, 13 mesh mini-gateways, and well over 800 HX260 mesh terminals located at television towers across Kazakhstan, delivering high-quality voice and data connectivity for monitoring and control of all transmissions.
Xplornet Communications Inc., Canada’s largest rural broadband provider, has taken a lifetime lease on all of the Canadian satellite broadband capacity on the Hughes JUPITERTM 2/Echostar XIX next-generation high throughput satellite, due for launch in mid-2016. Built by Space Systems Loral, and with over 150 Gbps capacity, EchoStar® XIX will build on the success of EchoStar® XVII, with Jupiter high-throughput technology, which was launched in 2012 and is the cornerstone of HughesNet high-speed satellite Internet service, now with over 900,000 subscribers in the U.S.
In Europe, a major challenge for distributed organizations is managing information networks that cross borders, with different technologies, languages, infrastructures, and regulatory and environmental barriers. These organizations are looking for a single trusted vendor to manage their networks, with comprehensive capabilities that free them from the cumbersome and time-consuming task of dealing with multiple providers, often with different contacts in each country. What are some of the other challenges facing the European business market today?
Enterprises in the retail market are beginning to adopt an omni-channel approach—an integrated strategy of delivering a seamless, consistent customer experience using every possible touchpoint, including mobile devices, retail Websites, brick-and-mortar stores, TV, catalog, and direct mail. A key part of any omni-channel strategy is the smart use of digital media to engage both customers and employees.
Offering free guest WiFi can make the difference between keeping customers and losing them to the competitor down the street, while corporate WiFi efficiently keeps employees connected and informed.
Similarly, integrating social media across secure WiFi into corporate customer relationship management (CRM) systems provides powerful marketing tools as well as a more personal- ized service for customers. But it takes advanced technology to overcome the security challenges posed by WiFi.
Downtime is the enemy of the enter- prise network. If an organization’s network goes down and products or services are not readily accessible, it’s all too easy for customers to go elsewhere—and they may never look back.
When retail outlets open a branch, they often need connectivity from Day One. But depending on location, the installation of DSL lines can sometimes take months. Similarly, some orga- nizations set up pop-up shops or kiosks for just a few months during the summer or holiday season to sell seasonal products, and need connectivity for just a short time.
HughesON is a comprehensive set of managed network solutions designed to meet the unique needs of distributed organizations across all countries, integrating voice, data, and video applications seamlessly over any broadband transport, whether satellite, DSL, cable, 3G/4G cellular, MPLS, or any combination.
From high-capacity access to high-availability networks, from digital signage to employee communi- cations and training, from managed security to managed WiFi, HughesON solutions enable organizations to cost-effectively enhance the customer experience, engage employees, and streamline business operations.
As a one-stop, global managed service for any organization’s communications networking, IT, and related support needs, HughesON means a single trusted vendor under one contract will deliver a uniform, high-quality solution at all locations, providing responsive local support and at the same time filling the gaps between countries. HughesON employs best-of- breed technologies to create a customized solution designed specifically for each customer’s current and planned business needs. When customers are waiting for DSL to be installed, for example, Hughes can install a temporary satellite link or 3G/4G service until the DSL line is in place. That means instead of waiting months to get a line in, customers can be up and running in short order.
Whether organizations are looking for an experienced partner to manage cross-border network needs, implementing an omni-channel strategy, seeking network resilience or secure WiFi, or trying to improve speed to market, they can look to HughesON, the provider of choice for leading enter- prises in Europe and globally.
Enterprises across a wide range of vertical markets—including retail, restaurant, hospitality, and convenience store—are turning to amenities-based guest WiFi solutions to increase consumer traffic. Now government agencies are also beginning to use the power of cloud-managed WiFi technology to keep their workforces and constituents better connected.
Better connected. That’s what HughesONTM Managed WiFi is all about. A component of the HughesON portfolio of Managed Network Solutions, HughesON Managed WiFi combines superior WiFi and business networking into an integrated solution with a complete portfolio of managed WiFi/wireless Internet services designed to address government wireless application needs, including:
A unique advantage of the HughesON solution is that it is backed by the Hughes portfolio of managed transport services—including DSL, cable, fiber, T1 OCx, 4G, and satellite— encompassing a complete end-to-end solution for both WiFi and broadband, with a single network management and monitoring platform covering all access points.
Case in point: Hughes was recently awarded a contract to provide HughesON Guest WiFi to the Florida Army National Guard’s (FLARNG) 65 armories state-wide, which are used for a variety of military functions, training exercises, and social events for National Guardsmen and their families.
As part of the solution, Hughes will install a WiFi access point at each armory and deliver broad- band service such as DSL or cable, enabling users to access the Internet, check email, and stream media via mobile devices and laptop/desktop computers equipped with wireless antennas.
On average, 10 to 50 users at each site are expected to access the managed WiFi service at a time. Each location will have a Hughes HR4700 gateway router that provides best-in-class security and innovative ActiveQoSTM technologies that accelerate broadband performance. Along with content filtering that allows the creation of whitelists and blacklists to control access to undesirable sites, the solution also includes installation, maintenance, and 24/7 help desk support. All 65 sites are scheduled to be deployed by the end of the year.
“The beauty of HughesON Managed WiFi is that as a managed service, it is worry-free,” said Tony Bardo, assistant vice president of Government Solutions at Hughes. “Agencies have enough to worry about and can be confident leaving the management of an integrated HughesON Managed WiFi solution in the hands of a single trusted provider.”
Today, staying connected is more important than ever. That’s why WiFi isn’t just for business alone—it’s an essential tool to keep the business of government working efficiently for constituents and employees alike.
Hughes recently teamed with Tampa Microwave to deliver a portable SATCOM solution designed for harsh tactical military environments, embedding its HX technology into Tampa Microwave’s family of small tactical satellite terminals (Manpacks). These Manpack terminals are ideal for a broad global customer base, and operate in X, Ku-, and Ka-bands in both star and mesh networks. They feature a rugged, compact, and lightweight package, facilitating one-person set-up, operation, and transportation. Operating quietly and efficiently without the need for cooling fans, each unit in the family features auto-assist pointing that allows for rapid set-up and satellite acquisition by personnel with limited training.
The world is increasingly on the move, and people need to stay connected no matter where they go. That’s why Thuraya, one of the world’s premier mobile satellite operators, recently launched two Hughes-built broadband terminals—Thuraya Orion IP and Thuraya IP Voyager—to address the needs of the L-band maritime and land mobile markets.
Thuraya’s huge mobile satellite network provides high-quality L-band coverage spanning Northern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North and South Asia, and Australia with at least 30,000 merchant maritime vessels operating under its footprint.
Building on Thuraya’s flagship broadband land portable IP offerings, Thuraya Orion IP from Hughes is the company’s first dedicated maritime broadband terminal. With data rates up to 444 kbps, Thuraya Orion IP offers expanded options for owners and operators and leverages the company’s popular Maritime Broadband pricing packages for high-value connectivity in the shipping sector.
The company’s first dedicated vehicular broadband terminal, Thuraya IP Voyager enables users to collaborate reliably via video, data, and VoIP anywhere across Thuraya’s huge footprint, no matter the location. Designed to connect at IP broadband speeds of up to 444 kbps while on the move, this advanced land mobile terminal is the only one on the market capable of achieving streaming IP rates of up to 384 kbps and user-definable asymmetric streaming.
With a built-in WiFi access point and four Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) ports to connect multiple wired devices, Thuraya IP Voyager is ideal for government, oil and gas, media, and emergency response.
“Reliable connectivity and mobility are essential for users who need to communicate while on-the-move, whether on land or at sea,” said Randy Roberts, vice president of innovation at Thuraya. “Orion IP was the first important step in our 2014 maritime strategy that increases choice and provides greater value for maritime users, no matter how big or small their operations. Thuraya IP Voyager broadens our Land IP portfolio and gives end-users the power of choice when it comes to high-quality, reliable connections at competitive prices, no matter where they are.”
“As designer and developer of comprehensive network solutions and portable voice and data terminals for the world’s premier mobile satellite operators, Hughes has had a longstanding relationship with Thuraya,” said Graham Avis, vice president of the Hughes San Diego Mobile Satellite Terminal Group. “Offering simplicity of installation, integrated mobility management, an advanced Web user interface, and WiFi capability, Thuraya IP Voyager and Thuraya Orion IP are the latest in a long line of mobile broadband technology innovations Hughes has developed for Thuraya.”
As the demand for mobile communications continues to expand, Hughes and Thuraya are working together to provide high-quality, reliable connectivity so people can stay connected wherever they go—whether on land or at sea.
Smiggle, a fast-growing Australian stationery brand, recently selected Hughes Europe to provide HughesON Managed Network Services to all Smiggle’s UK stores. The comprehensive solution comprises business broadband DSL, including voice services, connecting Smiggle stores to the company’s stocking and distribution infrastructure and with secure, round-the-clock connectivity to the company’s headquar- ters in Australia. Back-up 3G routing technology ensures that in the event of a temporary service interruption, the connection will be maintained by seamless switchover to wireless networks.
Deluxe Digital Cinema employs HughesON Managed Network Services to deliver the latest feature films to over 3,000 cinemas across Europe. Deluxe selected Hughes because of its unique flex- ibility in working with multiple in-country network providers and range of broadband technologies—including fiber, cable, and DSL—to ensure the best supplier/ connectivity option for each individual cinema site. In addition, Hughes was the only provider to offer the high-performance levels Deluxe needed to deliver a minimum 20 Mbps download speed across all locations—a comprehensive one-stop service with pan-Euro- pean coverage.
mecom (Medien-Communikations-Gesellschaft mbH), Germany’s leading company in the trans- mission of news in text, image, graphics, audio, and video formats, has chosen the high-performance Hughes HX broadband satellite system to power its network to meet growth plans. The new fault-tolerant solution includes broad- band satellite terminals and two Hughes HX central hubs, one of which will provide fully automatic redundancy as a backup.
BP Retail petroleum sites across Germany, Poland, the UK, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, and Switzerland are using the Hughes Learning Portal, a fully-hosted Learning Management System (LMS) that enables organizations to easily deliver, manage, and track online training. BP needed a high degree of flexibility in its training program, including the ability to accommodate multiple languages, support different branding schemes, and integrate with other internal BP systems. At the same time, it had to be flexible enough to address the unique needs of key stakeholders in seven different countries, all with varying requirements of compliance, data privacy, and commercial demands. Finally, the solution needed to accommodate the needs of different types of BP Retail sites, including dealer-owned, company-owned, and franchised. The Hughes Learning Portal filled the bill.
Earlier this year, we introduced our new HughesNet® Gen4 theme— Life. Connected. Why is this theme so apt?
Many of us agree that living outside the city is great, but we don’t want to give up high-speed Internet in our homes. So what can the estimated 10 million to 15 million households and small busi- nesses that are unserved or underserved by terrestrial broadband services do?
That’s what the Life. Connected. theme is all about. HughesNet Gen4 delivers a robust satellite Internet service that’s available every- where—even where cable and DSL don’t reach—so people can live where they love and still stay connected. With download speeds from 10 Mbps up to 15 Mbps* and down- load allowances of up to 40 Gigabytes per month, HughesNet Gen4 lets users do more of what they want online.
For their home life, that might mean shopping at favorite online stores, learning and doing homework with a super-fast connection, planning a family vacation, or managing their finances. For their community life, it might mean connecting with family and friends through email, chat, and social media, discovering people who share the same passions and hobbies, or engaging with other people and causes. And for their work life, it may mean enhancing careers, taking professional courses online to sharpen job skills, or keeping in touch with work colleagues online from the comfort of their own homes. The beauty of HughesNet Gen4 is that it keeps customers’ lives connected.
Judging by the numbers, clearly we must be doing something right. In 2013, we managed 250,000 new installations, a 30 percent increase over 2012. Included in this number were 8,137 in a single week and 1,522 in a single weekend, both HughesNet records that helped us pass the 900,000 subscriber mark. Now, as we close in on a subscribership of 1 million, our primary focus is the same as it has always been—to deliver a quality service that meets or exceeds our customers’ expectations.
Becoming the world’s #1 high-speed satellite Internet service does not happen by accident, and helping us achieve this benchmark are the many award winners from our recent HughesNet Reseller Summit held in Baltimore, Maryland, including resellers Digistar Genesis, Dealer of the Year; Clearlink, Direct Agent of the Year; and Red Ventures, Strategic Agent of the Year. Repre- senting more than half of the HughesNet business, resellers are an integral part of the HughesNet sales network.
A highlight of the HughesNet Summit was the “Top 15 Reasons to sell HughesNet,” which include world-class customer care, the best installation network in the world, world leadership in satellite technology, and a major investment in JUPITERTM 2/EchoStar® XIX satellite technology, which at 150 Gbps is projected to be the world’s highest capacity broadband satellite.
Life. Connected. It’s what we do.
The 13th edition of the COMSYS VSAT Report, published annually by COMSYS, a leading research organization for the satellite industry, says that, with a 49 percent share of the global enterprise market and 48 percent of the consumer market, “Hughes’ presence casts a shadow over almost every player in the market.”
“Hughes is the only company to have developed a platform that competes and wins at the highest and most specialized levels of the market as well as in the mass consumer business—this is achieved on a single, unbelievably flexible operating platform,” said Simon Bull, senior analyst at COMSYS.
Hughes has once again been honored by the Alliance for Workplace Excellence (AWE) as one of the Greater Washington, D.C. area’s best places to work, receiving the Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval, as well as the Health & Wellness Seal of Approval. In addition, Hughes was one of 27 organizations recognized with the EcoLeadership Award for their commitment to environmental sustainability, and one of 18 for being a leading practitioner in diversity and inclusion.
Hughes has earned the prestigious Consumer World Award for its market-leading HughesNet® Gen4 High-Speed Satellite Internet Service. The annual Consumer World Awards program honors excellence in every facet of the consumer industry, including products, people behind the successes, and best companies from around the world. HughesNet Gen4 was honored for its ability to deliver high-speed Internet access—up to 15 Mbps, greater download capacity, and a richer Internet experience. HughesNet Gen4 is built upon a network of high-capacity satellites, advanced ground technology, and in-home devices tightly integrated to deliver high performance and continuous, reliable service.
Network Products Guide, the industry’s leading technology research and advisory guide, has named HughesONTM a Bronze winner in the “9th Annual 2014 Hot Companies and Best Products Awards” in the Best New Products category. HughesON is a comprehensive suite of managed network and digital media solutions from Hughes for the distributed enterprise and multi-branch government markets; Network Products Guide awards are the world’s premier information technology awards recognizing achievements in industry innovations.
TMC, a global, integrated media company, has awarded Hughes a 2014 Communications Solutions Product of the Year Award for its innovative HR4x00 Branch Gateway series. The HR4x00 Branch Gateway series is a family of customer premises platforms that delivers new levels of functionality and price/performance to distributed networks such as retail, restaurant, retail petroleum, and hospitality, as well as multi-site government agencies. The Branch Gateway family comprises the HR4700, ideal for large enterprises with complex branch requirements, and the HR4400, ideal for smaller branch sites such as franchises in the retail petroleum and Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) markets.
All types of customers—consumers, large and small businesses, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—come to Hughes for reliable, high-speed networks, and connectivity. That means the installers of Hughes equipment must come prepared to work in any type of scenario—from high-rise buildings to single-family homes, from warehouses to storefronts, from large offices to log cabins. Since every site is different, it’s vital that installers be quick on their feet and able to creatively problem- solve whatever may crop up during the installation.
Indeed, installer readiness and flexibility were among the many topics addressed at the 2014 Hughes Installer Training Seminar (HITS) held on May 21 in Fort Lauderdale. The conference is conducted every two years, and this year’s Florida location not only enabled more dealers from south and southwestern regions to participate in the HITS experience, it also offered proximity to the Hughes Customer Service Center, providing an excellent opportunity for the field and support teams to interact and share experiences. There were 185 attendees from distributors and dealers representing over 70 different companies from both the enterprise and consumer sides of field operations. The next HITS event will be held in 2016 just prior to the launch of the JUPITERTM 2/EchoStar® XIX satellite, which at 150 Gbps is projected to be the world’s highest capacity broadband satellite.
With a combination of forums, breakout sessions, and round table discussions throughout the 2 1/2 days, there was ample opportunity for attendees to participate in training, gather information, ask questions, make recommenda- tions, and interact with representatives from Hughes, as well as their peers from other installation companies. The sessions were packed with an extensive range of topics, including “Customer Satisfaction Improvement,” “Inventory Management,” and “Dealer and Distributor Best Practices.”
As in the past, a highlight of the conference was the lively technical forum, which brings attendees together with senior Hughes staff representing product and service launches, network engineering, customer service, product development, and network operations in an open forum to share experiences, discuss issues, and brainstorm ideas.
A key topic of the seminar was “World-Class Installation Quality.” With the strictest quality standards in the industry, Hughes not only trains and certifies its technicians but also tracks performance and site revisits, requires installation photos from each site, and conducts random audits to ensure quality. Any deficiencies identified in an installation generate a dispatch that directs the installer to go back and correct the errors. In addition, installed systems are monitored to ensure they meet Hughes standards for performance and efficiency.
“The installer is often the only in-person interface our customers have with Hughes, so it is imperative that field technicians represent Hughes in an exemplary manner from the time the order is placed until they have successfully completed the installation,” said Cliff Rees, vice president of Field Services for Hughes. “When a customer orders service, they want it installed quickly, and when we leave, they want it working problem-free. Any slip-up could cost a customer.”
Now that the conference has concluded, the hard work begins. All of the brainstorming and discussion resulted in a plethora of ideas, recommendations, and action items for Hughes to work on. Installers provided excellent insight on the field experience and made requests for enhancements in many areas, including products, mounting options, Installation Portal enhancements, process improvements, and systems solutions. Hughes is eager to tackle the list and implement some of these excellent recommendations, which will enhance the installer “readiness for anything,” as well as improve onsite quality, efficiency, and the overall customer experience.
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