Hughes Network Systems
EchoStar Corp. announced another delay in the launch of its Jupiter-3 communications satellite and the failure of two nanosatellites to reach their intended orbits, during a Feb. 23 quarterly earnings call.
EchoStar Corp. plans to launch the Jupiter 3 broadband satellite in the first quarter of 2022 but has not yet selected a launch provider, company officials said during a Nov. 5 earnings call.
SpaceX, Hughes Network Systems and Viasat are eligible to compete for a share of the $20.4 billion in broadband subsidies the FCC plans to dole out under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund starting later this month.
The coronavirus pandemic and the transition launch providers are making to new rockets is complicating EchoStar’s reservation of a launch slot for its Jupiter-3 broadband satellite, according to company executives.
The battery malfunction that put DirecTV’s Spaceway-1 satellite at risk of exploding has a “very low likelihood” of occuring on other satellites, according to the satellite’s manufacturer, Boeing.
The Defense Department is trying to speed up access to innovative commercial technologies through a variety of contracting mechanisms like other transaction authority as well as pilot and pathfinder programs aimed at testing new technologies and system architectures.
For consumer adoption of broadband from satellites in low or medium Earth orbits, inexpensive flat-panel antennas are “critical,” said Pradman Kaul, Hughes Network Systems president and CEO.
The sale includes nine satellites — half of EchoStar’s fleet when counting leased payloads — plus employees who handled satellite operations, associated properties, and licensing for an orbital slot.
Kaul says Hughes' entrance into Africa with Yahsat gives it a head start over Viasat, which has similarly expanded first into Latin America while also having eyes on Africa and the globe.
Satellite communications providers are forming partnerships, making acquisitions and developing new business models in anticipation of new satellite constellations and surging demand for data links.