Hughes Communications aimed even higher than visionary company namesake Howard Hughes did. Through operating subsidiary Hughes Network Systems, the company provided broadband satellite equipment and services, based largely on very small aperture terminal (VSAT) technology. Over a network of owned and leased satellites, it provided consumers, businesses, and government agencies worldwide with broadband Internet access via the HughesNet service. The network also enabled voice calling, video transmission, and data services such as credit authorization. Hughes also sold network hardware systems used by fixed and mobile communication systems operators. EchoStar bought the company for almost $2 billion in 2011.
Change in Company Type
EchoStar's interest in Hughes grew out of its effort to diversify its business and customer base, by beefing up its ability to offer commercial satellite services and expanding its international reach.
Formerly known as SkyTerra Holdings, Hughes Communications was spun off from parent company SkyTerra Communications (renamed LightSquared) at the end of 2005. SkyTerra bought the company from DIRECTV (formerly known as Hughes Electronics). Both Hughes Communications and DIRECTV trace their roots to companies owned by reclusive 20th century industrialist Howard Hughes.
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