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Headquartered just outside of Washington, D.C., in Germantown MD, the Hughes Network Management Center (NMC) is dedicated to monitoring and controlling the company’s North American Terrestrial and Satellite networks, as well as supporting certain International customers. From an operations perspective, that involves running the transport for all consumer and enterprise customers, including surveillance, escalation, triage, and troubleshooting activities. Hughes online portals enable HughesNet® and HughesON™ Enterprise customers to view, add, and monitor their services. Given the complexities of the network, issues are often escalated to an engineering team of innovative problem solvers. At the core of all these operations is a focus and dedication to customers.
“We are actively watching and monitoring, proactive in everything that we do to ensure service stability and customer satisfaction,” said Matt Kenyon, Sr. Director of North American Operations. “Serving our customer base and delivering the service they expect is our first priority. Hughes didn’t reach one million subscribers by accident; that’s just not possible without a large team of technical leaders committed to this mission.”
These efforts stretch across three main NMC locations in the US (in Germantown, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Southfield, Michigan). Operations span 43 locations containing 65 gateways supporting global operations for Hughes customers, plus equipment in 40 separate data centers, several of which are located in Canada and Mexico, and over 1 million terminals across the US—all managed by the same Hughes group. This group also provides assistance to and shares best practices with Hughes network management operations around the world, including Hughes Brazil, which has recently expanded service into the consumer market.
Hughes has spent a large portion of its research budget and its planning and management efforts on issues related to economies of scale.
“We consistently ask ourselves, ‘How do we grow?” and ‘How can we be more efficient?’” explained Kenyon. That philosophy, combined with decades of service experience and lessons learned, have resulted in network management tools, processes, and structures that are based on High Throughput Satellite (HTS) spot-beam technology, the ability to support both consumer and enterprise customers, and the need to be scalable. Consequently, the NMC has been designed and organized to quickly and easily ramp up to serve any growth in customers, such as the new waves of HughesNet subscribers expected following the launch of the EchoStar® XIX/JUPITER 2 satellite—all without large changes in headcount or resources.
That successful formula drives Hughes ability to consistently innovate and expand without compromising service and customer satisfaction levels.