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The little things are often an important part of what makes a brand successful. No one knows that better than Carter’s, Inc., a leading provider of apparel and related products exclusively for babies and young children. The company owns a number of apparel brands, including Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh, two of the most recognized brands in the marketplace. But at the same time that Carter’s specializes in colorful prints, cute characters, and thoughtful little details like a mitten sleeve that protects babies from scratching themselves, the company also understands the importance of the network that supports its operations.
That’s why Hughes is providing Carter’s with a major network upgrade to deliver stronger security, better performance, and in-store wireless connectivity to more than 500 Carter’s retail sites.
“When looking to expand our network and applications, Hughes demonstrated that they understood our business and could respond to our needs, allowing us to focus on the bigger picture,” said Janet Sherlock, Carter’s CIO. “We’re gaining more bandwidth, and meeting tougher security and compliance requirements with the network applications and infrastructure which Hughes manages for us.”
Highly committed to providing a superior shopping experience to its customers, Carter’s is taking advantage of Hughes Enterprise Wi-Fi services to enable its employees to stay connected, productive, and more responsive within the store. Hughes also provides a secure, private wireless connection that protects confidential corporate communications. And the Hughes rogue scanning functionality is a managed wireless scanning and reporting service that helps the retailer protect against rogue devices accessing sensitive corporate traffic.
As part of the upgrade, Hughes is also increasing access bandwidth to all store locations, which are securely networked via Hughes Optimized VPN services using a variety of technologies, including DSL, cable, 3G, and T1.
In addition, Carter’s is leveraging Hughes WAN optimization technology, integral to the Hughes access router, to increase the virtual bandwidth at each store. The additional bandwidth is needed to support inventory management, human resources, and back-office applications, along with point-of-sale (POS) system functions for its Carter’s and OshKosh B’gosh stores.
“Hughes prides itself on delivering tailored solutions that meet the needs of our customers now and into the future,” said Mike Cook, senior vice president, North America Sales & Marketing at Hughes. “We are continuing to expand our service portfolio well beyond managed transport as evidenced by our recently announced Wi-Fi, VOIP, and virtualized branch server offerings. Carter’s is an example of a customer that has grown with us and we are thrilled to be delivering a more advanced infrastructure to such a marquee name in the retail industry.”
Just as Carter’s believes in taking care of the little details so its customers can focus on celebrating the little ones that light up their lives, so too, Hughes is committed to taking care of networks— so customers like Carter’s can focus on running their businesses well into the future.
Until recently, a mere 39 banking ATMs were available to serve every million people in India, translating into an enormous underserved market opportunity. Now, Hughes India is setting up a network of more than 5,000 broadband satellite terminals at “Brown Label” ATM locations for a range of service providers across the country, such as FIS, TSI, TCBIL, Diebold, AGS, Prizm, FSS and Euronet. At a “Brown Label” ATM, both equipment and facilities are under the ownership of the service provider, while connectivity, cash handling, and management are the responsibility of the sponsor bank, such as Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Canara Bank, Axis Bank, Allahabad Bank, and Ratnakar Bank. The “Brown Label” ATMs create a shared network that results in significant cost savings within banks, while providing important financial services to Indian communities.
Working with local partner Gate Elektronik, Hughes Europe will provide satellite communications support to the Istanbul Seismic Risk Mitigation and Emergency Preparedness (ISMEP) project currently underway in Turkey. Funded jointly by the World Bank and European Central Bank, ISMEP is a major initiative to implement best practices for disaster management in this highly populated part of Turkey, which is particularly vulnerable to seismic activity. The Hughes-powered solution will provide full Voice over IP (VoIP) and broadband data connectivity using the market-leading Hughes HX satellite communications platform. An HX hub in a new government building in Istanbul will connect with satellite routers at 12 offices in the surrounding region, providing essential backup in the event of an earthquake or flooding. In addition to maintaining communications following an earthquake, the high-throughput satellite broadband solution will allow seismic data to be transmitted, enabling detailed analysis of activity and early warning of future threats.
The newly introduced Hughes Cloud Services & Hosting solution provides businesses of any size in any industry with a comprehensive cloud solution platform—including rack space, software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing infrastructure design, and complete corporate IT management. The new service will be supported by two secure data centers in Arizona and Wyoming, which provide disaster recovery capabilities, high-bandwidth fiber network access, and the latest security and intrusion detection technology. Full electrical and mechanical redundancy provides the very highest levels of uptime and reliability. Both are Department of Defense MAC I (Mission Assurance Category I) compliant, providing the most stringent protection for systems that handle information vital to operations, readiness, and mission effectiveness.
Straddling the equator, Ecuador is a country of striking beauty and rich culture—from the glaciated volcanoes of the Andes, to the tropical rainforests of the Amazon, to the astonishing biodiversity of the Galápagos Islands. But the country’s extremes of geography and weather pose significant challenges to the delivery of communications services.
That’s why, in addition to its ongoing goal to promote digital literacy throughout the country, Ecuador’s Ministerio de Telecomunicaciones (MINTEL) has established an aggressive program called Ecuador Digital to connect schools and healthcare facilities throughout Ecuador by the end of 2011. As part of this initiative, Hughes is supplying its advanced HN System to Iseyco Ecuador, a major systems integrator and reseller in Ecuador. The Hughes technology will power delivery of high-speed Internet access and voice services across the country under Iseyco’s multi-million dollar contract with the Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT), Ecuador’s state-run telecommunications operator. Thanks to the MINTEL-funded program, modern communications services will be available for the first time to many educational and healthcare facilities in rural areas throughout Ecuador.
Capable of managing large networks with high availability and reliability makes the HN broadband satellite system ideal for the MINTEL project, which calls for an initial deployment of 1,500 terminals across the country. Fully compliant with the global IPoS/DVB-S2 standard, including ACM (adaptive coding and modulation), the HN is both cost-effective to operate and designed to support a wide range of bandwidth-intensive services.“
We chose to submit our bid using the Hughes HN System because of its proven technological advantages and competitive price,” said Patricio Teran, vice president at Iseyco Ecuador. “The HN System provides excellent optimization of space segment with higher throughput, allowing us to provide a very cost-effective service. As a bidder on this important contract, it was imperative to choose a partner whom we trust would meet our expectations and those of the government of Ecuador.”
“Bringing broadband to businesses and people in all areas is essential for economic and social development, and our satellite technology offers the most cost-effective way to reach those who are unserved or underserved by terrestrial technologies,” said Robert Feierbach, vice president of global sales and marketing, International Division at Hughes.
“As Ecuador’s leading satellite system supplier, Hughes congratulates the Ecuadorian government and CNT on their vision of broadband for all,” added Hugo Frega, senior director of sales for Latin America.
But MINTEL is not stopping at a mere 1,500 locations. The agency’s future plans include a total deployment of 6,500 terminals to connect all rural education and healthcare facilities throughout the country. Now, thanks to the power of satellite broadband technology—and the vision of the Ecuadorian government—schools, hospitals, and clinics in rural and remote areas will be connected to the world, empowering them to provide better education and healthcare services for the citizens of Ecuador.
First responders deliver emergency care after a tsunami in Japan. A team of doctors catch a plane to Haiti to provide medical assistance immediately after an earthquake. An engineer visits utility field sites throughout the Midwestern U.S. An outdoor enthusiast embarks on a journey through the back country of Argentina. All these people need to stay connected, and as the world becomes increasingly mobile, the demand for mobile communications continues to grow exponentially.
Today, thanks to Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN), the majority of the world’s population and land mass can access IP connectivity via powerful satellites. Hughes has developed a complete line of portable and on-the-move BGAN terminals that can be used anywhere that Inmarsat offers BGAN service, enabling people who live or work in far-flung locations to stay connected.
The first BGAN terminal introduced by Hughes, the Hughes 9201 Class l terminal, still represents the highest streaming rates at the lowest price in a single BGAN device. With more than 10,000 units deployed worldwide, the laptop-sized terminal is popular with media and government. Part of CNN’s Emmy award-winning satellite newsgathering solution, the 9201 terminal streamlines the process of live media feeds, replacing what in the past amounted to a truck full of equipment.
Building on the success of the 9201, Hughes this year introduced the Hughes 9202 BGAN terminal, the smallest Class 2 BGAN terminal on the market. The only commercial-grade Class 2 terminal available with built-in Wi-Fi and a weather rating of IP55 (enclosure protected against dust and water jets), the 9202 is also equipped with a built-in RJ11 connection for voice and fax service, and is extended L-band ready. The 9202 is ideal for government and non-government organization (NGO) personnel, such as first responders, public safety and mobile healthcare workers, as well as remote workers in the utility, oil and gas, forestry, and telecommunications industries. With full ISDN connectivity, the 9202 is smaller, lighter, and more cost-effective than repairing aging Global Area Network (GAN) equipment, enabling an immediate transition opportunity for GAN users to replace Mini-M, Inmarsat’s prior generation of voicecentric terminals.
Direct machine-to-machine (M2M) communications allows for little to no human intervention, which is especially valuable in the oil, gas, water, and utility industries where continuous, unattended monitoring of remote sites is often essential.
The Hughes 9201-M2M is used for a broad range of applications, including out-of-band management, smart meter backhaul, distribution automation, compressor monitoring, and well site monitoring and control, as well as environmental monitoring. For example, the California Institute of Technology Tectonics Observatory is utilizing the 9201-M2M in Nepal, Chili, and Peru for earthquake and tsunami monitoring and warning systems. Similarly, R&M Energy Systems relies on the 9201-M2M for well site automation.
Equipped with an indoor unit and an external antenna, the new Hughes 9502 is ideal for use in M2M installations, and comes paired with special data price plans from Inmarsat. This terminal boasts low power consumption for solar and battery-powered installations, and includes 10 meters of antenna cable for remote use.
Until now, we have been talking about portable BGAN terminals that need to be pointed toward a satellite to get a connection. Hughes has also developed a line of terminals that are equipped with tracking intelligence, enabling them to automatically point toward the satellite and transmit and receive on the move.
The lowest-priced Class 10 terminal on the market, the Hughes 9350 BGAN terminal supports full ISDN and 256k streaming. Ideal for first responders, mobile healthcare technicians, and remote field personnel, the Hughes 9350 enables workers to collaborate with staff back at headquarters using video, voice, and data simultaneously.
The Hughes 9450 BGAN terminal utilizes the world’s smallest on-the-move BGAN antenna and has built-in Wi-Fi. Optimized for fleet workforce automation communications, the Hughes 9450 is ideal for military, utility, and oil and gas fleets. The 9450 is a cost-effective addition to complete mobile workforce coverage where 3G is unreliable or unavailable.
Built and powered by Hughes, the Harris RF-7800B BGAN product line is a highperformance satellite solution that provides reliable voice and wideband data connectivity for beyond-line-of-sight, SATCOM-onthe- move, and SATCOM-at-the-quick-halt applications. The RF-7800B is ideal for military, rail, mining, and construction applications.
“The recent introduction of our exciting 9202 and 9502 products rounds out the Hughes BGAN portfolio,” said Graham Avis, vice president of the Hughes Mobile Satellite Terminal Group. “Now those who live and work in far-flung locations, including journalists, first responders, outdoor enthusiasts, and workers in the utility, oil and gas, and forestry industries, can choose from a complete line of Hughes BGAN terminals to stay connected.”
In a transaction signed in February, which was approved by regulatory authorities on June 8, 2011, EchoStar Corporation acquired all the assets of Hughes Communications, Inc. EchoStar is well known as a leader in satellite operations and digital TV solutions that enhance today’s home entertainment lifestyle, complementing Hughes as the world’s leading provider of satellite broadband technologies and services for home and office. The combined companies create a global powerhouse in satellitebased digital video and broadband solutions and services. Channels recently caught up with Hughes Chairman and CEO Pradman Kaul to get his insight on the integration of the two companies and the outlook for the future.
Channels: How is the integration progressing?
Pradman Kaul: It’s proceeding extremely well and we’ve begun operating as a single company in many areas. The focus is on combining our respective strengths to make the collective sum greater than that of its parts.
Channels: What can you tell us about some of the joint projects that Hughes and EchoStar are working on?
Kaul: Some projects that we’re working on together include using EchoStar’s AMC 15 Ka-band satellite for our HughesNet® service to increase profitability. Our SPACEWAY® 3 satellite is approaching 500,000 subscribers and filling up fast, so having this EchoStar satellite available for our consumer business in the U.S. is very timely and will mean we can avoid paying for satellite capacity elsewhere while we wait for Jupiter™ to be launched, which I’m happy to report remains on schedule for the first half of 2012.
Secondly, as part of the EchoStar team, we’re helping Dish Network implement the Blockbuster strategy, which is to bring movies-on-demand via streaming over our HughesNet service. That’s an exciting story, and we are working hand-in-hand with many people at both EchoStar and Dish to make that a success.
In addition, we’re working with EchoStar and Deluxe Digital Cinema on an exciting new venture to launch a satellite distribution network that will deliver digital cinema content to digitally equipped theaters in the U.S. and Canada. The venture, known as Deluxe EchoStar, LLC, has already signed several of the top ten theater exhibitors in North America, and Hughes is well under way with satellite installations that will distribute digital movies to several thousand screens. The new system, which consists of a two-way satellite system and additional theater-specific receiver equipment, is capable of sending movies and trailers directly to theaters, making reels of film a thing of the past. The satellite network also supports a growing Live Event business that allows patrons to enjoy content such as live concerts and sporting events in the comfort of their local theater. Hughes, EchoStar, and Deluxe are also working to bring these same capabilities to theaters in other regions around the globe as digital projection systems become more common internationally.
Another project that’s gathering steam is Hughes becoming part of the Wholesale Dish Network offering. It means our HughesNet service will be bundled on a wholesale basis for Dish distributors and resellers, leveraging that extensive network to sell our high-speed satellite Internet service. We expect that the volume of new HughesNet subscribers signed up by Dish Network will be significant, and represents one of the most effective ways to fill up our JUPITER satellite next year.
Channels: How did Hughes do in the third quarter?
Kaul: All of Hughes business units are firing on all cylinders, and we’re on track to meet our expectations for the year. Our consumer business continues to lead the way, with now over 620,000 HughesNet subscribers in North America, over 70 percent of which are on SPACEWAY 3. Notable domestic enterprise orders included Rite Aid, Sonic, M&T Bank, YUM, and several others.
Internationally, we’re continuing to experience solid growth across our service businesses in Europe, Brazil, India, and China, and made good progress on key strategic opportunities with Telefonica in Latin America, NBN Australia, KACST in Saudi Arabia, and SCT Mexico.
Some other highlights are a frame agreement with Fintex in Nigeria for equipment supply on a government network and a contract with the African Development Bank. We also completed shipments to Yahsat for the first four gateways and 240 initial terminals of a major Ka-band initiative, helping them prepare for their service launch early next year across the Middle East and Africa regions. And in India, we installed the 50,000th VSAT from our shared hub in Delhi.
Channels: What is your outlook for the future?
Kaul: Our domestic, consumer, and international businesses are all doing very well, and the demand for broadband continues to grow at healthy rates around the globe. As in the past, continued success is in our hands and comes down to the people. Throughout the year, the company has once again been recognized with numerous awards—12 at last count—across all spheres of technology, product development, sales/marketing, and community service, which is a testament to the innovative spirit and quality of our people. That’s our most important asset and it bodes well for the new combined company as we build the future together.
2011 has been another banner year for Hughes as the company garnered multiple prestigious awards in recognition of its business success, innovation, and promise for the future. Here are just of few of the company’s most recent awards.
Euroconsult, a leading international consulting and analyst firm for the satellite industry, recently awarded Hughes the Broadband Satellite System Award for 2011 for outstanding performance throughout 2010, as well as strong prospects for the future. The award is one in a series for Excellence in Satellite Management, which are based on an objective assessment of specific performance indicators by a jury of experts.
Hughes was also recognized again this year as one of the Gazette Politics and Business Exceptional 53 Maryland Companies. The P&B Exceptional 53 program honors the top 53 businesses and organizations in Maryland based on such criteria as the recipient company’s annual revenue and employee growth, as well as noteworthy product or service innovations, community service efforts, and workplace excellence. Hughes was awarded the #8 spot for its exceptional growth during the last three years, as well as its numerous community service programs.
Hughes Communications India Ltd. (HCIL) was recently recognized as the Top VSAT Operator in India for 2011 by Voice & Data, published by CyberMedia, India’s largest specialty media house, at an awards ceremony at the Hotel Lalit Intercontinental in New Delhi. For the past 12 years, the annual V&D 100 awards have recognized individuals and their companies for their extraordinary contributions to the Indian telecommunications industry.
Rohit Iyer Seshadri, senior member of the Hughes technical staff, was honored with the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) Promise Award. The award recognizes young satellite professionals who have shown the potential to play a leadership role in the satellite industry. Seshadri not only helped develop a performance prediction model for JUPITER™, Hughes’ nextgeneration Ka-band system to be launched in the first half of 2012; he also formulated an approach to improve efficiency and performance of Continuous Phase Modulation (CPM), which was adopted by the DVB Return Communications Systems group as part of its secondgeneration standard. Kudos to Seshadri for so aptly representing the best of the next generation of engineers!
The scene in Annapolis, Maryland in late September, where the 2nd annual HughesNet® Summit took place, was a lively one. Drawing more than 100 top HughesNet dealers, sales agents, and other attendees, the Summit was all about networking, learning, and sharing ideas.
During three days of packed sessions, topics covered the gamut—from trends in the marketplace, to new programs and promotions to drive business, to sales training. A highlight was planning for Hughes’ next-generation, 100 Gbps satellite, JUPITER™, which will be launched in the first half of 2012 and deliver HughesNet high-speed broadband service to between 1.5 and 2 million subscribers. Technology is constantly changing the way people communicate, and many of the event’s training sessions focused on getting the most out of 21st century marketing tools and strategies, including using text messaging, blogs, and various social media tools to reach customers and prospects.
“The HughesNet Summit is partly our way of saying thank you to our top resellers around the country for their success in selling HughesNet, and partly an opportunity to get to know them better and make sure we’re giving them the best tools and support possible to ensure their future success,” said Allen McCabe, vice president of North America Channel Sales for Hughes. “Resellers are an integral part of the HughesNet sales network, and we can only be successful if they are successful.”
Indeed, resellers represent more than half of the bourgeoning HughesNet business, which is now running at more than 15,000 new subscriptions per month and recently crossed the 620,000 subscriber mark in North America.
Sprinkled throughout the sessions were the “17 Reasons to Sell HughesNet,” which reminded resellers why riding the tide with HughesNet creates such an important opportunity for business success. Presentations outlined the best sales training and channel support in the industry, which helped earn Hughes an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and described the latest tools available for customers to flexibly manage their HughesNet bandwidth, including Download Zone, Download Manager, Restore Tokens, and Download Bank. One of the best received announcements was about the new $49.99 initial service plan, available nationwide.
Attendees’ feedback was positive across the board—the venue, the many opportunities for networking with other dealers and sales agents, the new promotions and programs, and the fun activities, including a tour of the U.S. Naval Academy, a fishing expedition, and an Annapolis Harbor dinner cruise.
In the words of Gene Goodhue of Basic Communications from Grand Rapids, Michigan, “It was truly exciting to experience the Hughes team’s positive response to our comments and ideas. I am now completely confident moving forward, armed with all the new tools and offerings the Hughes team has given us.”
Demand for high-speed Internet is exploding all around the world. Nowhere is that more true than in Brazil, where despite a volatile economy worldwide, economic growth hit a 25-year record high in 2010. That kind of national expansion has contributed to the double-digit growth Hughes Brazil is experiencing.
It’s also what keeps Hughes Brazil on its toes. Headquartered in São Paulo, the economic center of the country, Hughes Brazil now counts more than 50 employees, including personnel in Rio and the capital Brasilia—all deeply focused on providing the best corporate telecom services in Brazil.
A major player in the country’s booming enterprise telecom business, Hughes Brazil provides a wide range of managed network services to enterprises in a variety of industries, such as banking, oil and gas, retail, and utilities. Enterprises rely on the powerful suite of continentwide Hughes satellite telecom services to connect their branches to company headquarters, back up traditional terrestrial networks, and access high-speed Internet and intranet VPN networks.
For example, Hughes Brazil recently signed a $5.3 million USD, five-year contract with Servico Federal de Processamento de Dados (Serpro), the data processing company of the federal government, to provide high-bandwidth satellite connectivity. Similarly, Brazilian integrator VAT is combining Hughes satellite technology with TVs and videoconferencing software to provide distance learning at hundreds of sites.
Indeed, public educational initiatives such as distance learning are critical in Brazil with its vast difficult-to-reach areas. Schools and universities contract with Hughes Brazil to deliver educational programming via Hughes service. The interactive programs enable remote students to communicate directly with teachers in real time and receive the same quality education as if they were in the same classroom. Today, the state of Amazonas is using interactive Hughes solutions to bring distance education to over 30,000 students; similar solutions are being used in Bahia and Mato Grosso, with the total number of students throughout the country estimated at over 100,000. By the end of 2012, students in six Brazilian states will benefit from these programs.
Hughes Brazil also furnishes turnkey corporate telecom solutions to large fixed operators such as Telefonica and Oi, which resell Hughes highspeed satellite services throughout the country. In addition, Hughes Brazil is delivering a satellite-based GSM backhaul solution to top cellular providers Vivo and Tim, which provide cell phone access to nearly half a million people in the northeastern region of Brazil.
Those traveling in vessels along the coast of Brazil are now able to stay connected with Hughes Brazil’s new maritime high-speed satellite service. This service enables those aboard rigs and maintenance boats engaged in offshore oil and gas exploration, as well as cargo ships, cruise ships, tankers, yachts, and fishing vessels, to browse the Internet, access email, and conduct online business with uniform, high-quality connectivity.
And earlier this year, Hughes Brazil won two orbital slots in an auction conducted by ANATEL, the Brazilian communications regulatory authority. Hughes Brazil will use the new slots to expand its video and data service offerings.
“Brazil is a highly competitive environment and we constantly challenge ourselves to continue our steady growth without losing our agility and flexibility,” said Delio Morais, president of HNSA. “We’re very serious about being the best telecom service provider in Brazil, and we understand that means to genuinely put the customer’s needs first.”
That’s why the Hughes Brazil team is always thinking several years ahead—brainstorming opportunities, planning what services to offer the market next, and maintaining its steady growth in one of the fastest growing regions in the world.
As momentum builds towards the 2012 launch of JUPITER™, Hughes’ next-generation Ka-band satellite, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s inside this gamechanging bird that’s designed with over 100 Gbps capacity and will serve from 1.5 to 2 million HughesNet® subscribers in North America.
Q. What are some of the parts inside JUPITER?
A. JUPITER contains over 6,000 components, including amplifiers, filters, down converters, up converters, power supplies, batteries, temperature sensors, and heaters.
Q. How many screws are in the satellite?
A. Over 50,000.
Q. What are some of its key payload characteristics?
A. JUPITER will have 60 user beams, each with 750 MHz of bandwidth, and 15 gateway beams to supply all that data. Built on a very powerful Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform, the satellite will have 15 kW DC power and more than 15 years of orbital life expectancy.
Q. How much waveguide will JUPITER use?
A. The satellite will utilize 4,500 pieces of pipe, known as waveguide, which put together end to end would extend to over a mile long.
Q. What is new about the satellite’s terminal and gateway technology?
A. JUPITER’s state-of-the-art technology will enable a significant increase in throughput performance at a lower cost.
Q. What makes Jupiter such a heavy hitter in the satellite broadband world?
A. Jupiter’s capacity of over 100 Gbps in the Ka-band is equal to approximately 80 Ku-band satellites, and will more than double the number of HughesNet subscribers in North America, which at over 620,000 represents the world’s largest consumer satellite Internet service. More than 70 percent are served by the Hughes award-winning, Ka-band SPACEWAY® 3 satellite, the world’s first with on-board switching, making it the #1 Ka-band service network of any kind globally.
In India, local markets teem with activity, bursting with the bright colors of fresh fruits and vegetables, the enticing smells of flowers and spices, and the sounds of shoppers hunting for bargains. Villagers visit the market looking for all manner of items from groceries, to clothing, to household goods—and more and more often these days—Internet access.
India faces a massive challenge in providing Internet access to its billion-plus population, as well as training the workforce required to sustain its rapid economic growth. To help meet this challenge, Hughes India in 2006 developed what has turned out to be a highly successful franchise-based model called HughesNet® Fusion kiosks to bring affordable broadband by satellite to the millions of people in villages and towns across this diverse country.
The grass roots concept is simple enough. Shop owners located in market districts that are easily accessible to the local community make a relatively modest investment in acquiring HughesNet satellite broadband service and at least two laptop computers; some larger, district-level kiosks are equipped with five or more workstations. And as in a typical Internet café, customers can drop in anytime to surf the Web, buy train and bus tickets, download e-training courseware, and make VoIP phone calls—all on a pay-as-you-go basis. Many shop owners have reported profits from operating a kiosk that soon exceeded those earned from the goods they sold.
Indeed, the model proved so successful that in 2007 the government expanded on it to create a National e-Governance Plan, enabling direct, accessible G2C (Government to Citizen) and B2C (Business to Citizen) services, such as obtaining birth certificates, land records and driver’s licenses. This national initiative has been organized by tenders to select qualified providers who bid on operating so-called Common Service Centers (CSC) in designated rural districts. To date over 100,000 broadband kiosks have been set up in rural villages and towns, with the goal to reach 250,000.
Hughes India has connected more than 8,000 kiosks throughout the country, including both its HughesNet Fusion centers and governmentinitiated CSCs. By the end of the year, it plans to connect several thousand more in some of the most remote areas of the country utilizing the nationwide HughesNet broadband satellite service.
Equally important, HughesNet Fusion kiosks open the door to satellite-based distance education, providing India’s vast youth population the opportunity to attend top universities without leaving their home villages. Linked to studios built by Hughes in key educational institutions, the kiosks act as virtual classrooms, enabling students to interact directly with professors and access the same quality of educational content as urban students.
Beyond providing a convenient service and educational tool, the kiosks represent an excellent example of how broadband can seed new businesses. Requiring only a small investment, these new-world kiosks enable entrepreneurs throughout the country to sell valuable services to people in the region, while at the same time earning a profit for their own businesses and creating jobs. “Broadband is recognized today as an economic and social imperative by governments worldwide,” said Dharmendra Singh, director of Business Development, Hughes Communications India Ltd. (HCIL). “That’s why using our satellite technology to provide affordable broadband connectivity and other e-services via HughesNet Fusion centers and CSCs is so important to the people of India, and sets an excellent example for other developing economies worldwide.”
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