Hughes Network Systems

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Hughes Communications, Inc.
IndustrySatellite networks and services
Founded1971; 48 years ago (1971) (Digital Communications Corp)
HeadquartersGermantown, Maryland, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Pradman Kaul
(Chairman, President and CEO)
ServicesGlobal communications
Revenue$1.39 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
4,000 (2016)[1]

Hughes Communications is a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar. It is headquartered in Germantown, Maryland and provides a high-speed satellite internet service, HughesNet, which is the largest service of its kind with more than 1.3 million subscribers in the Americas.[2][3]

Corporate history[edit]

Hughes Communications was founded in 1971 under the name Digital Communication Corporation (DCC)[4] by seven engineers and a lawyer who all previously worked together at Comsat Laboratories.[5] With $40,000 in startup capital,[5][6] the company operated from a garage in Rockville, Maryland, designing circuit boards for telecom related products.[5][7]

By 1977, Digital Communications Corp. had 250 employees and $10.6 million in revenue.[8] In 1978, Digital Communications Corp. was acquired by Microwave Associates for an undisclosed sum,[8][a] becoming MA/COM-DCC and began developing satellite related products.[9] The company invented the very small aperture (VSAT) in 1985.[10] That year, the company sold its first VSAT network to Wal-Mart, which used the “technology to connect retail stores in rural areas.”[11] According to SatMagazine, “the global VSAT market is estimated to reach $10 billion by 2021.”[12]

In 1987, MA/COM-DCC was acquired by Hughes Aircraft Corporation for $105 million and renamed Hughes Communications.[13]

In 2004, News Corp acquired a controlling interest in Hughes through a $6.5 billion purchase intended primarily for its DirecTV unit.[4] DirecTV also began selling off its ownership interests, culminating in a $100 million sale to a private equity firm.[4] As a result, Hughes became a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyTerra Communications Inc., which was controlled by the investment firm.[4] Hughes Communications was spun-off as an independent public company in 2007 and was acquired by EchoStar for about $2 billion in 2011.[14][b]

Technology and services[edit]

HughesNet is Hughes Network Systems' satellite-based broadband internet service. As of 2017, Hughes controls 60 percent of the market for residential satellite-based internet connections, which are mostly used by rural customers out-of-reach of wired infrastructure.[16] Hughes also markets its services to government, business, and military.[17]

Satellite systems[edit]

In 2012, Hughes launched the Jupiter (stylized as JUPITER) System, Hughes' VSAT ground system that provides high-performance terminals, increased gateway architecture, and advanced air interface[18] for both high-throughput and conventional satellites. The Jupiter System supports applications such as broadband Internet and Intranet access, community Wi-Fi hotspots, cellular backhaul, digital signage and mobility, including airborne services.[19]

Through its Jupiter Aero System, an integrated system of airborne and ground equipment and software, Hughes provides broadband access to aircraft.[20] As of 2018, about 1,000 aircraft carry Hughes technology on board.[21]

In March 2018, Hughes announced improvements to the Jupiter system, doubling the throughput of HT2xxx terminals to more than 200 Mbps and increasing capacity.[22]

Hughes HX and HT satellite broadband platforms are used for broadband IP services, high speed internet, VoIP, and video by telecom providers around the world and the military.[20][23][24][25][26]

Hughes has deployed more nearly 6 million VSAT terminals of all types in more than 100 countries, representing approximately 50 percent market share.[27][28]

Satellite Services[edit]

Hughes satellite backhaul of cellular service extends 4G/LTE service to remote and rural areas around the world, specifically where conventional backhaul is difficult or costly due to geography and terrain.[29][30][31][32]

Hughes cellular backhaul applications include a 4G/LTE optimization capability that yields up to 60 percent bandwidth savings.[32]


In 1996, Hughes introduced a satellite Internet service for consumers and small businesses. The service was originally known as DirecPC[33] and was renamed Direcway in May 2002.[34] In 2012, with Hughes' first offering of broadband satellite Internet, it was renamed HughesNet.[35] In March 2017, Hughes became the first satellite-based internet provider to meet the Federal Communications Commission's definition of "broadband" with HughesNet Gen5 after launching the EchoStar XVII and XIX high-throughput satellites. As of October 2018, Hughes is the largest satellite internet provider in the U.S., with 1.3 million subscribers.[32] The FCC Measuring Broadband America report ranked HughesNet number one among all internet service providers for meeting or exceeding advertised download speeds for four years in a row from 2014 through 2017. For three out of four years (2014, 2015 and 2017), HughesNet ranked number one for meeting or exceeding both download and upload advertised speeds.[36]

In 2016, Hughes expanded HughesNet into Brazil, marking its first international expansion of the service.[37] It expanded into Colombia in September 2017,[38] into Peru in October 2018,[39] and into Ecuador in December 2018.[40]

Managed Network Services[edit]

Hughes offers managed network services and solutions for distributed enterprise businesses and government organizations. Its HughesON managed services include SD-WAN, Wi-Fi and location analytics and cloud-based digital signage and employee training.[41]


  1. ^ Another sources says it was $8 million[9]
  2. ^ another source says $1.3 billion[15]



  1. ^ a b EchoStar Corporation 2016 Annual Report (PDF), EchoStar, retrieved January 30, 2018
  2. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (9 November 2015). "EchoStar Sees HughesNet Revenue Gain Despite Subscriber Volatility". Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  3. ^ Baumgartner, Jeff. "Hughes: Satellite Broadband Has 1M "Active Users"". Multichannel. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d McCarthy, Ellen (November 11, 2005). "DirecTV to Sell Hughes Investment". Washington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Mills, Mike (August 25, 1997). "The Sky's the Limit for Hughes". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ Shay, Kevin James (January 20, 2011). "EchoStar closes on $2B purchase of Hughes Communications of Germantown". The Gazette. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  7. ^ Belson, Ken (November 14, 2006). "With a Dish, Broadband Goes Rural". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Digital Firm Purchased". The Washington Post. February 23, 1978.
  9. ^ a b Rosenberg, Ronald (November 18, 1990). "Motivating M/A Com". Boston Globe.
  10. ^ Sachdev, D.K. Recent Successful Satellite Systems: Visions of the Future. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronatuics, Inc.
  11. ^ Berlocher, Greg (1 September 2010). "Advances Keep VSATs Relevant in Changing Market - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  12. ^ Good, Steve. "SatMagazine". Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Hughes to Buy IBM Satellite Leasing Operation". The Los Angeles Times. July 8, 1989. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  14. ^ "EchoStar To Buy Hughes Communications For $2 Billion". Forbes. February 14, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  15. ^ Merced, Michael J. de la (February 15, 2011). "EchoStar in $1.3 Billion Deal for Hughes Communications". DealBook. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  16. ^ Gallagher, Sean (15 August 2017). "Hughes signs deal to launch 100Mbps satellite Internet service in 2021". Ars Technica. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  17. ^ Holmes, Mark (10 November 2011). "Hughes Collaborates with TCS in Military/Government Market - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  18. ^ Batambuze III, Ephraim (9 May 2016). "Eutelsat and Facebook Choose Hughes JUPITER™ System For Africa Broadband Initiative". PC Tech Magazine. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  19. ^ Nyirady, Annamarie (10 December 2018). "Hughes Brings Satellite Internet Service to Ecuador - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  20. ^ a b Nichols, Steve (8 May 2018). "Hughes Jupiter infrastructure in place for Thales FlytLive". Get Connected. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  21. ^ Kirby, Mary (26 June 2018). "EchoStar's Hughes eyes growth within aero sector". Runway Girl. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  22. ^ Baumgartner, Jeff. "Hughes Beefs Up Throughput on 'Jupiter' Satellite Platform". Multichannel. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  23. ^ Henry, Caleb (14 October 2014). "Hughes Begins Marketing Rotary-Specialized Waveform - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  24. ^ Henry, Caleb (3 June 2015). "Hughes Awarded Broadband Satellite System Contract by IPSAT - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  25. ^ "Hughes opens new satellite hub in India targeting enterprise and SMBs". TelecomLead. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  26. ^ Sachdev, D.K. Recent Successful Satellite Systems: Visions of the Future. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. p. 306.
  27. ^ "VSAT Statistics from COMSYS". Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  28. ^ Sachdev, D.K. Recent Successful Satellite Systems: Visions of the Future. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. p. 301.
  29. ^ Team, BS Web (11 September 2018). "RJio mulls to use satellites to provide 4G LTE connectivity in remote areas". Business Standard India. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  30. ^ "Reliance Jio to use ISRO's satellite to provide 4G services in rural, remote areas". Business Today. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  31. ^ Mann, Colin. "Yahsat, Hughes finalise broadband satellite JV". Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  32. ^ a b c "African telecom operators select Hughes Jupiter system to enable satellite connectivity". BroadcastPro ME. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  33. ^ "Hughes Hasn't Been This Sexy Since... Thanks to DirecTV, its satellite broadcast service, Hughes Electronics morphed from a defense giant into a white-hot media property. Will Rupert Murdoch get his wish to buy it? - February 5, 2001". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  34. ^ Wireless Satellite & Broadcasting. Information Gatekeepers Inc.
  35. ^ "Hughes updates its HughesNet satellite broadband with Gen4 service". Engadget. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  36. ^ "Satnews Publishers: Daily Satellite News". Sat News. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  37. ^ Henry, Caleb (29 June 2016). "HughesNet Satellite Internet Makes Debut in Brazil - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  38. ^ Russell, Kendall (3 October 2017). "Hughes Introduces Satellite Internet Service in Colombia - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  39. ^ Riofrío, Marcela Mendoza (30 October 2018). "Osiptel: se intensifica competencia en Internet al hogar en Perú con HughesNet". El Comercio (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  40. ^ Nyirady, Annamarie (10 December 2018). "Hughes Brings Satellite Internet Service to Ecuador - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  41. ^ "HughesOn Managed Network Services | Secure Managed Broadband". Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  42. ^ Hugesnet Company ' HughesNet Customer Service Partner '

External links[edit]