EchoStar Corp. is the satellite communication company that brings HughesNet satellite internet to over a million American homes. Previous plans were to expand their team of satellites by launching Jupiter 3 in 2021. Jupiter 3 is a 500 Gb/s Ka-band satellite that will significantly increase HughesNet’s capacity in North and South America.

The 2021 launch was, like many projects planned for that time, delayed by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it was not pushed back far. EchoStar has planned the Jupiter 3 launch for early 2022, though they have not yet chosen a launch provider. The changing landscape of the launch market may actually mean that EchoStar will benefit from the delay.

The pandemic has meant a loss of profit for most businesses, but not necessarily so for satellite internet companies. EchoStar increased its customer base by 30,000 subscribers in just the third quarter of 2020, and this showed in their increased revenues. The first three quarters of 2020 showed $1.38 billion in revenue for EchoStar, which surpassed the same period of 2019 by $17.5 million. Despite this huge jump in revenue last year, 2021 has been able to continue the narrative, with the third quarter’s $475.5 million dollar revenue surpassing the previous year’s by $1.2 million.

In 2018, Hughes Network Systems, the operator of HughesNet satellite internet and a subsidiary of EchoStar, began an effort of partnering with Yahsat to bring internet services to communities around the world. One such location is Brazil. In the third quarter of 2021, these integration efforts in Brazil were completed.

This integration with Yahsat has proved incredibly fruitful for the companies. By integrating systems and sharing resources, both companies have eliminated a lot of waste that has allowed them to reach a greater audience and increase profits.

This beneficial partnering with other companies hasn’t stopped with Yahsat. Hughes is also planning cooperation with Inmarsat, a mobile satellite company based in the UK, to bring In-Flight Connectivity services to airlines in the United States and around the world. This has been a dying market recently due to the significant reduction in air travel during the pandemic, but with satellite internet technologies on the rise, it is set to see some new life in the future.

In this partnership, Inmarsat provides global satellite coverage and Hughes provides high bandwidth capacity in the United States, a combination that puts the partnership strongly in the competition with the many other companies vying for market dominance.

EchoStar has also acquired an internet-of-things (IoT) startup, Helios Wire. Hughes plans to bring IoT services with the two S-band satellites it ordered from Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems. This project is still in the exploratory phase but plans will become more clear as Hughes continues to evaluate the project's potential.

EchoStar is looking in all directions for opportunities for innovation, and it has been showing in their numbers. Despite the significant setbacks brought by the pandemic, EchoStar has been working on several new projects, and exploring possibilities in others. Jupiter 3 will launch the first quarter of 2022, and many other areas of progress will follow in the years to come.

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