Hughes Network Systems wrote the book on satellite data and Internet access network services. The pioneering company is a leading provider of broadband satellite network equipment and services to the very small aperture terminal (VSAT) business market. It is also a leading provider of satellite Internet access to consumers in North America serving more than one million subscribers with its HughesNet service. Hughes sells communications equipment for mobile satellite-based voice and data network operators and cellular mobile network operators, as well as other users of terrestrial microwave technology.
Hughes provides services with its own satellites, SPACEWAY 3 and EchoStar XVII, and it gets additional satellite capacity from third-parties. The unit has generated the majority of its revenue from its VSAT operations.
The company markets its products and services worldwide (with systems in use in more than 100 countries), but the majority (75%) of its sales have been made in North America. Brazil, the UK, and India have been Hughes’ biggest international markets in terms of sales. It also has operations in China, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Sales and Marketing
The number of Hughes customers increased to more than a million in 2015 from 977,000 in 2014. Besides residences and enterprises, Hughes also markets broadband satellite Internet services to government agencies. These broadband subscribers include customers that subscribe to HughesNet broadband services, through retail, wholesale and small/medium enterprise service channels.
In 2014, the revenue of Hughes increased 9% to $1.32 billion from 2013. The rise was driven by sales of broadband services to consumer and international customers and service payments from DISH Network, which had an increase in wholesale subscribers on dishNET.
Hughes is expanding in the sky and on the ground.
The company was on track to launch the EchoStar XIX satellite in the second quarter of 2016. The satellite will provide more capacity for Hughes broadband customers in North America. The EchoStar XIX is a high throughput geostationary satellite with a multi-spot beam and bent pipe Ka-band architecture.
The company is moving aggressively in India, signing deals to provide services that connect ATM networks. In 2014, it won contracts from eight banks to connect more than 12,000 off-site ATMs and rural banks branches with a secure boardband satellite network. The banks are Punjab National Bank, HDFC Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank, Dena Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, and Odissa Gramya Bank. Hughes also provides connections for white label ATMs in India.There are 500 operational VSAT deployments of white label ATMs in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In December 2013, Hughes acquired Solaris Mobile, a company based in Ireland, to provide mobile satellite services and complementary ground component services covering the European Union. Hughes intends to commercialize this license through its satellite and terrestrial technology capabilities.
EchoStar's interest in Hughes Communications stemmed from the company's efforts to diversify its business (which is overwhelmingly drven by sales of digital television set-top boxes to former parent DISH Network), while extending its ability to offer satellite services. Hughes' overseas operations also gave EchoStar, which makes the vast majority of its sales in the US, a broader international footprint.