New Hughes satellite promises connectivity boost for Latin America

New Hughes satellite promises connectivity boost for Latin America

Heralding what the company calls the start of a new era of connectivity, Hughes Network Systems’ JUPITER 3 ultra-high-density satellite has successfully launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

Described as the largest commercial communications satellite ever built, it will more than double the capacity of the Hughes JUPITER fleet and is engineered to deliver gigabytes of connectivity to customers across North and South America. 

Hamid Akhavan, CEO of parent company EchoStar, says: “JUPITER 3 is the highest-capacity, highest-performing satellite we’ve ever launched,” adding: “This purpose-built satellite is engineered uniquely to meet our customers’ needs and target capacity where it’s needed most, such as the most rural regions of the Americas.”  

Over the coming weeks, JUPITER 3 will travel into a geosynchronous orbit 35,786 kilometres above the Earth to its destination at the 95 degrees west orbital slot. It will then undergo extensive bus and payload testing before entering service and augmenting the Hughes JUPITER fleet with more than 500 Gbps of additional capacity. 

With this satellite, Hughes says it will enhance its HughesNet satellite internet offerings for customers in Latin America and the US with more broadband capacity overall and higher speed plans in many markets—some with download speeds up to 100 Mbps.

The company says it will also offer higher speed HughesNet Fusion plans, a reference to the low-latency home internet that leverages multipath technology to blend satellite and wireless technologies seamlessly into a low-latency satellite internet experience.

The new satellite will also support applications such as in-flight Wi-Fi, enterprise networking and cellular backhaul for mobile network operators.

The Via Satellite news service points out that the new satellite will give Hughes much-needed capacity as the satellite operator is ‘maxed out on its current fleet’ and losing subscribers amid competition from Starlink. It adds that the new satellite was originally supposed to launch in 2021 but was held back by a number of delays.

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