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Hughes Broadband Subscribers Continue to Decline Ahead of Jupiter 3 Launch

By Rachel Jewett | May 10, 2023
      Hughes Network Systems campus in Germantown, MD. Photo Credit: Hughes

      Hughes Network Systems campus in Germantown, MD. Photo Credit: Hughes

      Hughes Network Systems says the Jupiter 3 satellite is set to ship to the launch site in June, and will launch in the first available window. The company gave the update on its long-awaited satellite in parent company EchoStar’s first quarter results on Tuesday. 

      Hughes is capacity constrained with its current satellite over North America until Jupiter 3 launches, and continues to report a drop in broadband subscribers. The company lost 51,000 subscribers in the first quarter, ending Q1 with 1,177,000 broadband subscribers.

      This dip in subscribers contributed to a 12% drop in revenue for EchoStar compared to the same time last year. EchoStar reported $439.6 million in revenue in the first quarter, most of which is attributed to Hughes. 

      A drop in equipment sales also contributed to the decrease in revenue. Hughes had a nearly $21 million decline in equipment sales with lower sales from both domestic and international enterprise customers.

      Net income of  $27.8 million was down $61 million year over year, due to lower operating income and an unfavorable change in investments. 

      EchoStar CEO Hamid Akhavan said the team performed as planned in the first quarter. “The business continues to pursue new avenues of growth, laying the operational foundation to drive increased revenues once our upcoming EchoStar XXIV/Jupiter 3 satellite enters into service and taking tangible steps toward fulfilling our vision of a global 5G network in the S-band,” Akhavan said. 

      Manufacturer Maxar has had challenges manufacturing the Jupiter 3 satellite, which was originally supposed to launch in 2021, but has been delayed multiple times. Maxar agreed to waive about $50 million in fees to EchoStar to compensate for additional delays in the program.