Hughes Broadens Brazilian Reach Through Eutelsat Lease

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PARIS — EchoStar’s Hughes satellite broadband division, which has long nurtured ambitions of replicating the company’s U.S. HughesNet consumer broadband service in Brazil, will lease 16 Ka-band beams on a Eutelsat satellite for 15 years to offer a Brazilian service starting in 2016, Eutelsat and Hughes announced April 23.

Under the agreement, Hughes Network Systems do Brasil will lease the 16 Ka-band spot beams aimed at Brazil on the Eutelsat 65 West A satellite, providing 24 gigabits per second of throughput, for satellite broadband in Brazil. The agreement calls for Hughes to provide the ground network needed for the satellite in addition to the consumer premises terminals, giving Germantown, Md.-based Hughes Network Systems a consumer broadband relationship with Paris-based Eutelsat.

For its European consumer broadband service, called Tooway, Eutelsat has partnered with Hughes’ main U.S. rival, ViaSat Inc. of Carlsbad, Calif., for the ground network and customer terminals.

Hughes’ plans to use its own satellite capacity for a Brazil consumer broadband and EchoStar satellite-television business have been stalled as EchoStar has been unable to find a partner for the venture despite having purchased, at auction, a Brazilian orbital slot.

Eutelsat 65 West A is under construction by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., which also built Hughes’ Jupiter 1 high-throughput satellite, now named EchoStar 17, and is building a second Jupiter-class satellite called EchoStar 19.

The Eutelsat satellite has a total of 24 Ka-band spot beams, but only 16 are trained on the Brazilian market. The satellite is also being fitted with 24 Ku-band and 10 C-band transponders for television and telecommunications.

Hughes is already in the Brazilian broadband market through its well-established business of providing VSAT, or very small aperture terminal, services to government and corporate customers.

Hughes President Pradman P. Kaul said in an April 23 statement that the Eutelsat satellite “will be an excellent complement to the enterprise services Hughes already delivers into the Brazilian market.”