Hughes Tees Up Faster Satellite Broadband Service

Hughes Network Systems said it is closing in on the launch of HughesNet Gen5, a national satellite Internet service outfitted with monthly data plans that will meet the FCC’s current defined speeds for “broadband” – 25 Mbps downstream by 3 Mbps upstream.

RELATED: FCC Ups Sec. 706 Broadband Speed to 25 MbpsHughes, a unit of EchoStar Corp., said it the new 25-meg offering will live on March 16 and come with data plans ranging from 10 gigabytes to 250 GB per month. Pricing on the HughesNet Gen5 residential service starts at $49.99 per month, with data plans that include up to 50 Gigabytes per month. Business plans for that tier start at $69.99 per month, with data plans up to 250 GB. The service includes in-home/location WiFi.

If customers exceed their monthly data limits, continues at a “reduced speed” until the next billing cycle. Per the policy for the current HughesNet Gen 4 service, speeds are reduced to 150 kilobits per second when the monthly data allowance is exceeded.

The Gen5 offering will also support a “Bonus Zone” that includes 50 GB of free data per month for use in the off-peak hours of 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. The service also includes an optional Video Data Saver that adjusts data rates for streaming video to DVD quality and enables more viewing of shows and movies while using less bandwidth. Customers also have the ability to temporarily opt out of the video quality feature for a period of four hours.  

The faster offering, to be available across the continental U.S. and part of Alaska, is powered by the recently launched EchoStar XIX satellite along with the EchoStar XVII satellite, and underpinned by the Hughes Jupiter satellite networking platform. From its 97.1° orbital slot, EchoStar XIX’s 138 beams provide coverage for high-speed Internet service to homes and small businesses in the continental United States, Alaska, Mexico and parts of Canada and Central America.

“HughesNet Gen5 will bring a new level of Internet services to the approximately 18 million households across the United States that are either unserved or suffering from slow wireline Internet services,” Pradman Kaul, president of Hughes Network Systems, said in a release.”

Hughes ended 2016 with 1.03 million broadband subs.