In the United States, satellite internet providers that cater to remote and rural users, have been improving steadily over the last few years. Hughes Network Systems, which is a subsidiary of EchoStar, has now announced that their latest HughesNet Gen5 service, which is planned to go live on March 16, has cleared a big hurdle to become the first internet service to achieve the Federal Communications Commission’s defined broadband speeds across important areas in Alaska and the continental US. The broadband speeds for internet service set by FCC are 3 Mbps for uploads and 25 Mbps for downloads.
The Gen5 service from HughesNet will tap into the newly launched EchoStar XIX satellite and EchoStar XVII satellite. HughesNet describes the EchoStar XIX satellite as the “world’s highest capacity broadband satellite.” Gen5 service is powered by Hughes’ Jupiter System, which is the “world’s most widely deployed satellite networking platform,” the company said.
The new Gen5 service will not only deliver more data and faster speeds, but will also offer built-in Wi-Fi. “HughesNet Gen5 will bring a new level of Internet services to the approximately 18 million households across the United States that are either unserved or suffering from slow wireline Internet services,” said Pradman Kaul, who is the president of Hughes Network Systems.
For the residential users, the HughesNet Gen5 service will offer plans with up to 50 GB of monthly data and prices starting from 49.99 dollars per month. Business plan offerings will range up to 250 GB of data per month and prices starting from 69.99 dollars. All these plans are offered with 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed. HughesNet said that they would share more details of the Gen5 plans and prices on the launch day.
Other new features of the Gen5 service are:
- Built-in Wi-Fi service;
- No hard data limits, meaning that if the monthly data plan is exceeded, the service will continue with decreased speeds until next billing cycle;
- Video Data Saver feature to watch videos without using much data; and
- 50 GB of free data per month that can be used in off-peak hours (i.e. 02:00 am to 08:00 am local time).
In addition to that, the new Jupiter Aero System will tap into the EchoStar XIX satellite to offer 400 Mbps of best internet service in aircrafts. Reports say that some of the airlines like Southwest will be offering boosted wireless internet service by the second half of 2017.