Hughes Touts Satellite Broadband For Businesses

Oct 28, 2004 (11:10 AM EDT)

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Hughes Network Systems Inc. has unveiled a satellite broadband service featuring a package of video applications aimed at large IT shops. The multicasting application is available as an option to Hughes' Direcway delivery platform.

Multimedia Services delivers video via satellite for corporate TV, Web conferencing, multimedia, and digital advertising.

"This is a huge multicasting capability for a low cost," says Douglas Medina, senior director of Hughes's product service marketing. "We bypass the [incumbent local exchange carriers] and all the different carriers." The Direcway service lets customers deliver a video message to thousands of access points simultaneously.

Direcway is also catching on for telecommuting applications in regions where DSL and cable broadband aren't available.

The new video services are a natural extension of Direcway's VPN technology, which was introduced in September Medina says. Companies use Direcway for different applications, ranging from distance learning and training to credit and back-office usage. "For the cost of two or three dial-up lines, you can get this always-on broadband service," he says.

Hughes VPN Accelerator service operates seamlessly with the Nortel IPsec VPN industry standard, as well as with some Check Point and Cisco systems. The service implements uniformly secure VPNs and eliminates latency constraints of earlier satellite-based VPNs, the company says.

Hughes Network Systems has teamed up with GTSI Corp. to offer the Direcway service to federal, state, and local governments. The Hughes-GTSI products meet government-specified security and reliability regulations, Hughes says.

The Direcway service differs from most existing terrestrial broadband services in that none is apparently capable of providing robust multimedia multicast transmissions, Medina says. The new Multimedia Services feature operates as a network overlay that permits companies to deliver prestored or live digital video without using existing data-network capacity. Because the service supports next-generation video compression, such as MPEG4, Hughes said the service will remain viable in the future.

Hughes Network Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of DirecTV Group, which in turn is owned by News Corp.