[Satellite TODAY 03-21-13] Hughes Network Systems waited until the final day of SATELLITE 2013 to drop its biggest announcement of the year – the broadband satellite solutions and services provider selected SSL to build what will be the world’s highest capacity broadband satellite.
The Ka-band Jupiter 2/Echostar 19 satellite will have more than 150 Gbps throughput – 50 percent greater capacity than the Jupiter 1/EchoStar 17 satellite launched this past July – with a next-generation architecture having more than 120 spot beams, providing high quality Internet coverage across the U.S. and parts of Canada. Jupter 2 will launch in mid-2016, powering the growth of the company’s HughesNet service in North America for a service life of 15 years.
Hughes broke the news just as Via Satellite Editor Mark Holmes was leading a rapid-fire session at SATELLITE 2013, which featured Hughes Senior Vice President Mike Cook, who commented on the new deal with SSL. “Jupiter 2 will expand our international reach and supply of supplemental capacity,” he said. “When it comes to the size of this new spacecraft, I have no idea on the specifics. All I can say is that it’s big.”
The deal is just as significant for the recently rebranded SSL, who has been looking to leverage its recent merge with MDA to grow its North American business. “Hughes is the inventor of commercial VSATs and a pioneer in satellite broadband for the consumer market,” SSL President John Celli said in a statement. “Jupiter 2/EchoStar 19 will be the highest capacity broadband satellite ever built as a result of technology advances from both our companies and the excellent spirit of teamwork between our people.”
Hughes President Pradman Kaul said Jupiter 2 comes at the perfect time for the U.S.-based satellite broadband provider to capitalize on the growth of its HughesNet consumer service. “Speed and application demands are only going to increase as the online world expands into even more data- and media-rich experiences,” said Kaul. “Jupiter 2/EchoStar 19 will enable us to continue our leadership so that our customers can enjoy the Internet at its fullest. SSL is a trusted partner in building our platforms and we look forward to working with them again.”