Hughes Network Systems announced today what it bills as “the first and only U.S. satellite Internet service to offer Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defined broadband speeds – 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps uploads – from coast to coast.”
Scheduled to go live on March 16, HughesNet Gen 5 will deliver 25 Mbps satellite broadband service to consumers and businesses across the entire continental U.S. and parts of Alaska, the company says in a press release.
Gen 5 will run off of Hughes’ JUPITER System satellite networking platform. JUPITER, in turn, will rely on EchoStar XIX, a satellite asset of Hughes’ parent EchoStar, as well as EchoStar XVII, which is currently in orbit and operational. Hughes claims that EchoStar XIX will be the highest capacity broadband satellite available upon successful launch and initiation.
Available via a nationwide network of authorized dealers and sales agents as well as directly, HughesNet Gen 5 broadband service plans come with 10-250 GB per month of data. Other features include:
- Built-in CPE Wi-Fi to connect wireless devices
- No hard data limits – if monthly plan data is exceeded, service continues at a reduced speed until the next billing cycle
- Video Data Saver to watch more videos using less data
- Bonus Zone – 50 GB of free data per month to use during off-peak hours (2 a.m.-8 a.m.)
“As the industry leader, Hughes continues to invest in technological innovations to deliver an ever enhanced Internet experience for our rapidly growing customer base,” said Hughes’ president Pradman Kaul in a press release.
Satellite Broadband Competition Heats Up
HughesNet competitor ViaSat offers a comparable service now, with speeds of up to 25 Mbps satellite broadband. In February 2016, ViaSat said it expects to offer satellite broadband services as fast as 100 Mbps, once ViaSat 3, its new generation satellite broadband platform, is up and running in 2019.
ViaSat expects its three-satellite ViaSat 3 constellation to not only provide residential broadband service at speeds of 100 Mbps, but also support 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) video streaming.
Satellite industry start-up OneWeb has ambitious satellite broadband plans of their own, including launching a satellite constellation of 720 LEO birds, which they hope provides global broadband coverage. OneWeb is backed by Softbank and Echostar Hughes is an investor as well. They don’t expect service to begin until 2022.
3 thoughts on “HughesNet Claims First FCC Broadband Defined 25 Mbps Satellite Broadband Service”
This is good news, as satellite-based internet has always been slow and expensive, and afflicted with lag that prevents customers using the service for gaming. That last problem still remains, but for the vast majority of users, this will be good. It will enable 4k streaming in some cases, although the data caps will limit that function.
Very true, but the same issues also can not be fixed. Storms cause blackouts, and data limits stink to no end.
I use to install satellite systems for internet and even though these companies can provide customers with faster speeds and data limits they won't because of greed. Now with the competition coming out, it may indeed change things fast. The speed reduction for going over IE 12GB in a month is a rip off, because these companies advertise watching movies like you can do this daily on any plan.
Gaming (as well as VoIP and other things that need low latency and/or jitter) will be served if any of the proposed giant LEO systems actually get off the ground (next-gen Teledesic). The balloons work as well, if you're in an area served by them.
In the medium future, the sci-fi promise of stratospheric platforms or or the no-so-sci-fi promise of cellular-on-a-drone may help tremendously in some areas *IF* there there is reasonably ground infrastructure nearby (drone-to-drone connectivity doesn't seem reasonable unless they are truly in the stratosphere).