TAMPA, Fla. — EchoStar’s giant Jupiter-3 broadband satellite is performing as expected with early customers getting download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps), according to an executive for the U.S. operator.

Mark Wymer, senior vice president at EchoStar’s Hughes services subsidiary, said the world’s heaviest commercial communications satellite at more than nine metric tons successfully entered service Dec. 19, five months after launching on a Falcon Heavy.

“We’re seeing a really good experience for the small number of customers that we’ve placed on it so far in these early stages,” he said in an interview.

EchoStar is seeing strong interest from existing customers looking to order new indoor modems to upgrade from Jupiter-2, launched in 2017 and offering 25 Mbps broadband speeds, to more expensive plans on Jupiter-3 at 50-100 Mbps.

The company is also eager to fill Jupiter-3’s 500 gigabits per second of capacity over the Americas with new customers, following bandwidth constraints that have weighed on revenues.

Customers who have already signed up for Jupiter-3 services have not been disclosed. EchoStar is due to update subscriber numbers the next time the public company reports earnings results around the middle of February.

In its earnings announcement Nov. 6, EchoStar recorded around 1,063,000 Hughes broadband subscribers. 

Wymer said the bulk of Hughes subscribers are still with Jupiter-2. Hughes also continues to provide services from Jupiter-1, launched in 2012 offering 10 Mbps speeds.

EchoStar’s recent merger with sister company Dish Network, a TV broadcaster and terrestrial wireless provider, also creates more opportunities to bundle different kinds of services for customers.

While the companies had previously worked closely together, he said joining forces increases visibility into their respective businesses for more efficient cross-selling.

EchoStar announced Jan. 10 it had hired Houlihan Lokey and White & Case as financial and legal advisers, respectively, to evaluate potential strategic alternatives following the merger.

Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecom, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was Group Editor-in-Chief for Finance Information...