Advanced Television

EchoStar expands S-band strategy

February 3, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Charlie Ergen’s EchoStar has moved in regard to its coverage of the planet with S-band frequencies. EchoStar already has European coverage with its EchoStar Mobile Ltd under a licence from the EU (although due to expire in 2027).

EchoStar has now dramatically expanded that coverage with a commitment to launch 28 satellites with Astro Digital and ordered via EchoStar’s Australian subsidiary EchoStar Global. Service introduction is a little uncertain but past detail has talked about 2024.

EchoStar is using an S-band licence from the International Telecommunications Union. EchoStar also has rights from Mexico for terrestrial access.

The company says it wants to create a unique portfolio of S-band spectrum including rights to develop hybrid next-generation mobile satellite services which are integrated with complementary terrestrial rights.

The ITU spectrum allows EchoStar to make use of 75 MHz of S-band globally for a new 5G/non-geostationary network which will leverage and enhance its existing geostationary assets and with priority spectrum filings with the ITU covering the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

EchoStar says that it sees the future with Global 5G connectivity coupled with “seamless” terrestrial integration and suitable for “Consumer 5G services”, aircraft and drone connections, “ubiquitous 5G automotive connectivity, Public protection and disaster relief and Health monitoring.

EchoStar’s sister business Hughes Network Services is building its Jupiter 3 giant geostationary satellites that will double the existing Ka-band capacity. Hughes has around 1.4 million subscribers.

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