Hughes, OneWeb and Yahsat: Industry News for Sept. 10

OneWeb and Hughes Sign on Service Distribution Agreements for US, India

Hughes Network Systems has agreed to distribute OneWeb capacity to its customers in two agreements announced Thursday at SATELLITE 2021 for the United States and India. The distribution agreement for the U.S. focuses on enterprise services, and the companies have reached an MOU to distribute services in India to large enterprises, government, telcos, and ISPs in the rural and remote parts of the country.

Services will be offered by Hughes Network Systems and Hughes Communications India Private Ltd., respectively. Hughes President Pradman Kaul said at a press event that the company’s joint venture with Bharti Airtel in India is expected to close later this year.

“This agreement is another example of our commitment to deliver high-quality, continuous internet access to areas in need including in rural and remote areas of the U.S and India,” OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson commented.

This will combine Hughes Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellites and network technologies with OneWeb’s satellites in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). The companies shared a demonstration on Thursday of this multi-orbit connectivity. It showed Hughes ActiveTechnologies software transmitting different types of traffic like streaming and gaming over the most efficient path, whether it be OneWeb or JUPITER HTS.

“The future of connectivity depends on a worldwide network of multiple transports, including terrestrial, Geostationary and Low-Earth Orbit satellite services. OneWeb’s system enhances the Hughes portfolio of networking capabilities, introducing a low-latency option with global reach that complements GEO satellite capacity density and capability to meet our customers’ needs,” Kaul said.

The partnership further cements the close relationship between Hughes and OneWeb. Hughes is an investor in the OneWeb ownership consortium through parent company EchoStar, and also an ecosystem partner, developing gateway electronics and the core module that will power every user terminal for the system. The companies are also working together on a U.S. Air Force Research Lab contract to demonstrate LEO connectivity in the Arctic.

Yahsat Partners with Cobham Satcom for Mobile Broadband System for Thuraya 4-NGS

Yahsat has selected Cobham Satcom to deliver a mobile broadband system, including ground infrastructure and products, to operate as part of Yahsat’s next-generation Thuraya 4-NGS system.

Under the contract announced Thursday, Cobham Satcom will develop a range of commercial and government focused terminals for land, maritime and aeronautical applications. The companies said Cobham Satcom will work on Yahsat’s Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) broadband data services, and enable the Thuraya 4-NGS ground network with 4G and 5G capabilities.

Yahsat is currently investing in the Thuraya 4-NGS system which will create a suite of MSS products and applications. Thuraya 4-NGS is planned for launch in the second half of 2023, with operations commencing in 2024.

Leif Ottosson, CEO at Cobham Satcom called the deal “monumental” for the company. “It marks a new and innovative partnership with Yahsat, reinforces our position as a leading MSS infrastructure and terminal provider and will be critical to evolving satellite communications. We were selected by Yahsat because they believe in our relationship and trust our solutions. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with Yahsat and Thuraya for years to come, initially building the Thuraya 4-NGS ground infrastructure and terminals to deliver the highest connectivity speeds globally.” VS

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