Hughes Network Systems, LLC
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustrySatellite networks and services
Founded1971; 53 years ago (1971) (Digital Communications Corp)
HeadquartersGermantown, Maryland, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Hamid Akhavan
(CEO, EchoStar)
Paul Gaske
(COO, Hughes Network Systems and EchoStar)[1]
ServicesGlobal communications
Revenue$1.97 billion (2022)[2]
Number of employees
2,000 (2022)[3]
ASNs6621, 63062 Edit this at Wikidata

Hughes Network Systems, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar.[4] It is headquartered in Germantown, Maryland and provides satellite internet service.[5] HughesNet has over a million subscribers in the Americas in late 2023,[6] down from 1.4 million in early 2022.[7]


Hughes Communications was founded in 1971 under the name Digital Communication Corporation (DCC)[8] by a group of seven engineers and a lawyer led by John Puente and Dr. Burton Edelson,[9] who all previously worked together at Comsat Laboratories.[10] With $40,000 in startup capital,[10][11] the company operated from a garage in Rockville, Maryland, designing circuit boards for telecom related products.[10][12]

By 1977, Digital Communications Corp. had 250 employees and $10.6 million in revenue.[13] In 1978, Digital Communications Corp. was acquired by Microwave Associates for an undisclosed sum,[13][a] becoming MA/COM-DCC and began developing satellite related products.[14] The company invented the very small aperture terminal (VSAT) in 1985.[15] That year, the company sold its first VSAT network to Wal-Mart, which used the “technology to connect retail stores in rural areas.”[16] According to SatMagazine, “the global VSAT market is estimated to reach $10 billion by 2021.”[17] In 1987, MA/COM-DCC was acquired by Hughes Aircraft Corporation for $105 million and renamed Hughes Communications.[18]

In 2004, News Corp acquired a controlling interest in Hughes through a $6.5 billion purchase intended primarily for its DirecTV unit.[8] DirecTV also began selling off its ownership interests, culminating in a $100 million sale to a private equity firm.[8] As a result, Hughes became a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyTerra Communications Inc., which was controlled by the investment firm.[8] Hughes Communications was spun-off as an independent public company in 2007 and was acquired by EchoStar for about $2 billion in 2011.[19][b]

Technology and services

HughesNet is Hughes Network Systems' satellite-based broadband internet service. As of 2018, Hughes controls 69 percent of the market for residential satellite-based internet connections, which are mostly used by rural customers out-of-reach of wired infrastructure.[21] Hughes also markets its services to government, business, and military.[22]

Satellite systems

In 2012, Hughes launched the Jupiter (stylized as JUPITER) System, Hughes' VSAT ground system that provides high-performance terminals, increased gateway architecture, and advanced air interface[23] for both high-throughput and conventional satellites. The Jupiter System supports applications such as broadband Internet and Intranet access, community Wi-Fi hotspots, cellular backhaul, digital signage and mobility, including airborne services.[24]

Through its Jupiter Aero System, an integrated system of airborne and ground equipment and software, Hughes provides broadband access to aircraft.[25] As of 2018, about 1,000 aircraft carry Hughes technology on board.[26]

In March 2018, Hughes announced improvements to the Jupiter system, doubling the throughput of HT2xxx terminals to more than 200 Mbit/s and increasing capacity.[27]

Hughes HX and HT satellite broadband platforms are used for broadband IP services, high speed internet, VoIP, and video by telecom providers around the world and the military.[25][28][29][30][31]

Hughes has deployed more than 9 million VSAT terminals of all types in more than 100 countries, representing more than 50 percent market share.[32]

Satellite services

Hughes satellite backhaul of cellular service extends 4G/LTE service to remote and rural areas around the world, specifically where conventional backhaul is difficult or costly due to geography and terrain.[33][34][35][36]

Hughes cellular backhaul applications include a 4G/LTE optimization capability that yields up to 60 percent bandwidth savings.[36]


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In 1996, Hughes introduced a satellite Internet service for consumers and small businesses. The service was originally known as DirecPC[37] and was renamed Direcway in May 2002.[38] In 2012, with Hughes' first offering of broadband satellite Internet, it was renamed HughesNet.[39] In March 2017, Hughes became the first satellite-based internet service provider to meet the Federal Communications Commission's definition of "broadband" with HughesNet Gen5 after launching the EchoStar XVII and XIX high-throughput satellites.

In 2016, Hughes expanded HughesNet into Brazil, marking its first international expansion of the service.[40] It expanded into Colombia in September 2017,[41] into Peru in October 2018,[42] into Ecuador in December 2018,[43] and into Mexico and Chile in 2019.[44][45]

The FCC Measuring Broadband America report ranked HughesNet number one among all internet service providers for meeting or exceeding advertised download speeds for four years in a row from 2014 through 2017. For three out of four years (2014, 2015 and 2017), HughesNet ranked number one for meeting or exceeding both download and upload advertised speeds.[46] HughesNet was named the Best Rural Internet Provider of 2022 and Best Satellite Internet Provider of 2022 by U.S. News & World Report 360 Reviews.[47]

The long distance to the geosynchronous orbit used by HughesNet increases latency to over 600 ms, over 10 times more than terrestrial or low Earth orbit systems like Starlink, rendering it much less competitive for applications like videoconferencing and video gaming.[48]

Managed network services

Hughes offers managed network services for distributed enterprise businesses and government organizations. Its HughesON managed services include SD-WAN, Wi-Fi and location analytics and cloud-based digital signage and employee training.[49]

See also

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Another sources says it was $8 million.[14]
  2. ^ Another source says $1.3 billion.[20]


  1. ^ "Pradman Kaul to Retire After Nearly 50 Years With Hughes Network Systems". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  2. ^ "Hughes Revenue Slightly Up in 2022 Despite Subscriber Decline". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  3. ^ "Hughes' MSP, MSSP Market Expansion". MSSPAlert. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  4. ^ "EchoStar acquires Hughes Communications - IHS Technology". Archived from the original on 2019-11-11. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  5. ^ Knapp, Alex. "Hughes Network Systems Is Launching High-Speed Satellite Internet For North America". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  6. ^ Rainbox, Jason (12 January 2024). "Jupiter-3 enters commercial service". SpaceNews. Retrieved 15 January 2024.
  7. ^ "Hughes Jupiter-3 Satellite Pushed to Early 2023, EchoStar Explores Potential Acquisitions". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  8. ^ a b c d McCarthy, Ellen (November 11, 2005). "DirecTV to Sell Hughes Investment". Washington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  9. ^ "About Hughes | HUGHES".
  10. ^ a b c Mills, Mike (August 25, 1997). "The Sky's the Limit for Hughes". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ Shay, Kevin James (January 20, 2011). "EchoStar closes on $2B purchase of Hughes Communications of Germantown". The Gazette. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  12. ^ Belson, Ken (November 14, 2006). "With a Dish, Broadband Goes Rural". The New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Digital Firm Purchased". The Washington Post. February 23, 1978.
  14. ^ a b Rosenberg, Ronald (November 18, 1990). "Motivating M/A Com". Boston Globe.
  15. ^ Sachdev, D.K. Recent Successful Satellite Systems: Visions of the Future. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.
  16. ^ Berlocher, Greg (1 September 2010). "Advances Keep VSATs Relevant in Changing Market - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  17. ^ Good, Steve. "SatMagazine". Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Hughes to Buy IBM Satellite Leasing Operation". The Los Angeles Times. July 8, 1989. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  19. ^ "EchoStar To Buy Hughes Communications For $2 Billion". Forbes. February 14, 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  20. ^ Merced, Michael J. de la (February 15, 2011). "EchoStar in $1.3 Billion Deal for Hughes Communications". DealBook. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  21. ^ "The Space Race Among Internet Service Providers". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  22. ^ Holmes, Mark (10 November 2011). "Hughes Collaborates with TCS in Military/Government Market - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  23. ^ Batambuze III, Ephraim (9 May 2016). "Eutelsat and Facebook Choose Hughes JUPITER™ System For Africa Broadband Initiative". PC Tech Magazine. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  24. ^ Nyirady, Annamarie (10 December 2018). "Hughes Brings Satellite Internet Service to Ecuador - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  25. ^ a b Nichols, Steve (8 May 2018). "Hughes Jupiter infrastructure in place for Thales FlytLive". Get Connected. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  26. ^ Kirby, Mary (26 June 2018). "EchoStar's Hughes eyes growth within aero sector". Runway Girl. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  27. ^ Baumgartner, Jeff (13 March 2018). "Hughes Beefs Up Throughput on 'Jupiter' Satellite Platform". Multichannel. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  28. ^ Henry, Caleb (14 October 2014). "Hughes Begins Marketing Rotary-Specialized Waveform - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  29. ^ Henry, Caleb (3 June 2015). "Hughes Awarded Broadband Satellite System Contract by IPSAT - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Hughes opens new satellite hub in India targeting enterprise and SMBs". TelecomLead. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  31. ^ Sachdev, D.K. Recent Successful Satellite Systems: Visions of the Future. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. p. 306.
  32. ^ "2021 AIAA Aerospace Communications Award Honors Pradman Kaul of Hughes Network Systems". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  33. ^ Team, BS Web (11 September 2018). "RJio mulls to use satellites to provide 4G LTE connectivity in remote areas". Business Standard India. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  34. ^ "Reliance Jio to use ISRO's satellite to provide 4G services in rural, remote areas". Business Today. 11 September 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  35. ^ Mann, Colin (17 December 2018). "Yahsat, Hughes finalise broadband satellite JV". Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  36. ^ a b "African telecom operators select Hughes Jupiter system to enable satellite connectivity". BroadcastPro ME. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  37. ^ "Hughes Hasn't Been This Sexy Since... Thanks to DirecTV, its satellite broadcast service, Hughes Electronics morphed from a defense giant into a white-hot media property. Will Rupert Murdoch get his wish to buy it? - February 5, 2001". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  38. ^ Wireless Satellite & Broadcasting. Information Gatekeepers Inc.
  39. ^ "Hughes updates its HughesNet satellite broadband with Gen4 service". Engadget. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  40. ^ Henry, Caleb (29 June 2016). "HughesNet Satellite Internet Makes Debut in Brazil - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  41. ^ Russell, Kendall (3 October 2017). "Hughes Introduces Satellite Internet Service in Colombia - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  42. ^ Riofrío, Marcela Mendoza (30 October 2018). "Osiptel: se intensifica competencia en Internet al hogar en Perú con HughesNet". El Comercio (in Spanish). Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  43. ^ Nyirady, Annamarie (10 December 2018). "Hughes Brings Satellite Internet Service to Ecuador - Via Satellite -". Via Satellite. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  44. ^ "Hughes to launch satellite broadband service in Mexico". Fierce Telecom. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  45. ^ "HUGHESNET CELEBRATES THREE YEARS IN CHILE". Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  46. ^ "Satnews Publishers: Daily Satellite News". Sat News. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  47. ^ "HughesNet named best in 2 divisions by US News & World Report". The Daily Record. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
  48. ^ "PCMag Study: Starlink speed and latency top satellite Internet from Hughes and Viasat's Exede". Technology Blog. 2020-11-05. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  49. ^ "HughesOn Managed Network Services | Secure Managed Broadband". Retrieved 6 March 2019.