|To: Metacomet who started this subject||7/4/2001 7:16:24 AM|
|Hughes' Spaceway to Hit Europe In 2004|
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If satellite is to be a contender in providing broadband links, then Hughes Network Systems' Spaceway is among its first incarnations, one that has unsettled satellite and terrestrial competitors alike. Satellite links have traditionally been expensive, but Hughes' two-way global IP machine promises to 'substantially' cut transmission costs. This will open up a whole new vista of customers and revenues. Hughes will start building Spaceway at the end of next year, starting on the West coast of the US, and extending it to Europe by 2004.
What's different about the satellites in the Spaceway constellation is that they will carry on-board intelligence with fast packet-switches and processors. They will operate in the ka frequency spectrum – 20GHz to 30GHz – and will be deployed in a mesh architecture, like a cellular phone network, so that spot beams can hand off traffic to each other rather than bouncing signals down to earth stations. That will keep transmission costs low and make more efficient use of frequencies. The combination of that architecture and intelligence will allow the satellites to do on-board packet replication, which makes it cheaper and easier to operate multicasting services, for example, and to exploit point-to-point links for video and audio.
The project has put the wind up European satellite competitors, including Inmarsat and SES Astra. Inmarsat runs one of the only two-way data satellite services in the world. It's expensive and operates at only 100 Kilobits-per-second (kbps), but it has found a niche that would be hit hard by Hughes' low-cost spot beam machine. Terrestrial network operators are in an even weaker position with a number of alternative carriers having already hit the skids.
Hughes, along with the world's other big satellite operators, including its stable mate PanAmSat, are moving to capitalize on delays in building DSL and digital cable networks to siphon off frustrated would-be broadband customers. Like terrestrial phone companies, they are scrambling to move up the value chain and away from commodity transport services by providing value-added services to customers. Astrolink, lead by Lockheed Martin, will start providing broadband multimedia services to businesses and consumers via satellite from 2003.
Hughes said it is in talks with partners to develop applications to run over the Spaceway platform. It wants to become a magnet for content providers in the same way that AOL and its peers have attracted content companies to their portals. Spaceway will offer a direct broadband link between one 70cm satellite dish and another at the other end, which will make it possible to launch a range of new multimedia applications, including e-learning and video services.
"The combination of Internet and mesh connectivity allows direction connection between a user and a Website, for example, which gives us the opportunity to bypass terrestrial infrastructure," said Mike Cook, general manager of Spaceway at Hughes, speaking at an IIR broadband satellite conference in London this week. "We're moving full steam ahead with this program." He said the cost of using the network will be 'substantially' lower than using today's satellite networks. That represents a significant threat to terrestrial network operators because satellite links have traditionally been more expensive.
Certainly, Hughes is not alone in seeing an opportunity for satellite services as demand for broadband outstrips supply. Morgan Stanley believes broadband satellite revenues will reach $25bn by 2007. Others have a piece of that pie in mind. PanAmSat has built a content delivery network, called Net 36 and Intelsat and Eutelsat are moving closer to customers as they become private companies in advance of plans to sell shares. If the satellite community can pull it off in time, the industry could become a significant force in developing the broadband market. But it's a big if.
VSATs have been around for around 20 years but have so far failed to find a significant market. Satellite may be able to provide ubiquitous coverage, something its wireless and wireline competitors will never have. But it is unlikely to become the superhighway of choice in the long term. Even Hughes' Cook is cautious: "we're talking to partners and we have some committed funding, but we're not pushing the button until we have all the funding," he said.
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|To: Metacomet who started this subject||7/4/2001 7:31:15 AM|
|Hughes Network Systems and DMX/AEI MUSIC Offer Music Services Through DIRECWAY|
Multicast Services Available Today - Offering Customized Music and Content for Businesses
GERMANTOWN, Md., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Hughes Network Systems (HNS) and DMX/AEI MUSIC today launched Music By DIRECWAY, a service that uses satellites to provide businesses with music content, in-store messaging and advertising. The service is available through a worldwide joint marketing agreement between the two companies.
Designed to provide businesses with unparalleled, cost-effective music services, Music By DIRECWAY is available in three packages so businesses can match the service to their unique needs. Businesses can choose from 15 channels of music to help create a mood that is consistent with their client demographic. DMX/AEI MUSIC updates the music playlists continuously via satellite, with content based on thorough research by some of the most well respected programmers in the industry.
``The multicast addressing and built-in local storage make satellite the ideal mechanism to provide content-based services,'' said Emil Regard, Vice President of Strategic Marketing of HNS. ``By partnering with DMX/AEI MUSIC, we can provide quality music to businesses who want to maximize their customers' shopping experiences.''
The Music By DIRECWAY service also provides messaging capabilities. Businesses can insert advertisements or public service announcements into the music programming, adding to the ability to create customized shopping experiences for their customers.
Because the messaging and music programming is downloaded via satellite to every location and then stored on-site, the programming and messages can be regionalized and changed with an individual store's demographics throughout the day.
``Partnering with HNS for broadband satellite multicasting provides businesses a one-stop solution for music, messaging and advertising, as well as the other HNS services,'' said Lon Troxel, President and COO, DMX/AEI MUSIC. ``We are pleased to introduce the benefits of Music by DIRECWAY to enhance the service of existing customers and attract new businesses.''
Music By DIRECWAY will be bundled with other services and operations via HNS's global broadband content delivery program. HNS has more than 400,000 installed locations worldwide. DMX/AEI MUSIC's programming reaches 180,000 businesses, 500,000 airline passengers and 8.5 million homes.
About DMX/AEI MUSIC
DMX/AEI MUSIC, which was formed by the merger of DMX MUSIC and AEI Music Network Inc. in May 2001, is a subsidiary of Liberty Digital, Inc. Operating in more than 50 countries, DMX/AEI MUSIC is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Seattle and throughout the United States and internationally in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Japan and the United Kingdom. DMX/AEI MUSIC is a global leader in digital music programming, with one of the world's largest digital music and video libraries, creating more than 250 unparalleled styles of non-stop music delivered via digital cable, satellite, DVD and the Internet. DMX/AEI MUSIC distributes its music services worldwide to more than 8.5 million homes, 180,000 businesses, and 500,000 airline passengers with a worldwide listening audience of more than 75 million people. For more information on the company, access its websites at dmxmusic.com and aeimusic.com .
About Hughes Network Systems
Hughes Network Systems, a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation, is the world's leading provider of broadband satellite network solutions for businesses and consumers, with over 400,000 one- and two-way systems installed in more than 85 countries. Headquartered in Germantown, Maryland, USA, HNS maintains sales and support offices worldwide. The earnings of HUGHES, a unit of General Motors Corporation, are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to the General Motors Class H common stock (NYSE: GMH - news). To learn more about HNS and DIRECWAY, please visit hns.com or direcway.com .
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|To: Metacomet who started this subject||7/23/2001 7:41:41 PM|
|Hughes Goes on the Record Regarding Number of Satellite Broadband Subs.|
El Segundo, CA-based U.S. satellite giant Hughes Electronics issued its Q2 report 7/16, showing pessimism in terms of the growth of DBS customers this year and revealing officially for the first time the number of broadband satellite customers it has been able to garner with its DirecPC (now DIRECWAY) service.
From a big picture financial perspective, Hughes Electronics, parent of digital video satellite service DirecTV, said that its net loss more than doubled during Q2 due to slowing sub. additions. Hughes' Q2 total revenues rose 8.1% to $1.99 bil.,up from the $1.84 bil. in 2000, while its net loss grew to $156.5 mil., compared to a net loss of $69.1 mil. in the year-ago quarter.
Despite the fact that DirecTV, Hughes' most important unit, now serves ten mil. customers, or one out of every ten multichannel video customers in tbe U.S., the company is churning through customers as U.S. cable operators fight back against satellite competition via dish buyback programs and other competitive checks. DirecTV added 745K gross subs. during the quarter, but after churn, this increase was whittled down to a mere net gain of 175K subs.
Hughes cut its full-year expectations for net sub. additions for DirecTV to about 1.1 mil., from 1.3 mil., a target that has already been lowered once this year from 1.5 mil. to 1.7 mil.
The picture didn't look any brighter for Hughes' broadband forays. For the first time ever, Hughes went on the record with the number of subscribers to its DIRECWAY (formerly DirecPC) service, which delivers, for the most part, one-way broadband services via satellite. Despite the backing of high-powered service partners including America Online, EarthLink and Juno, DIRECWAY counted only 74K total customers in the U.S., capturing an additional 12K customers during the quarter.
Although Hughes had expected to add 200K DIRECWAY customer for the full fiscal year, the company is now only projecting an additional 150K new customer for the year as a whole. On the good news front, Hughes expects DIRECWAY to generate an EBITDA loss of $150 to $180 mil. for the year, down from the $160 mil. to $200 mil. originally projected.
Hughes' experiment in providing DSL service via its acquisition of Telocity fared only a little better. DIRECTV DSL service had more than 68K residential DSL customers as of 6/30, up only 4K over Q1 levels due to the bankruptcy of former wholesale provider NorthPoint. The company is now project net adds for DIRECTV DSL of only 75K for the year, down from the 100K originally expected, with EBITDA loss narrowing from $120 mil. to $140 mil. down to $100 mil. to $120 mil.
More Hughes news: according to 7/16 press reports, Hughes' rival EchoStar has dropped its plans to bid for the company, paving the way for Murdoch-controlled News Corp. to finally step in and close its long-anticipated deal to acquire a U.S. direct broadcast satellite company.
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|To: Xenogenetic who wrote (245)||8/5/2001 8:02:38 PM|
|From: Glenn Petersen|
|DISH makes an offer for GMH:|
Sunday August 5 7:43 PM ET
EchoStar Bids $32 Billion for Hughes
By Jed Seltzer
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Satellite television provider EchoStar
Communications Corp. (Nasdaq:DISH - news) said on Sunday it is
making a $32 billion bid for Hughes Electronics Corp. (NYSE:GMH -
news) in a move that could trump rival News Corp. in a battle for
Hughes' coveted DirecTV network.
EchoStar is proposing to offer 0.75 of its shares for each Hughes share, valuing Hughes' stock at
about $22.83 per share, an 18 percent premium based on Hughes' closing price on Friday. EchoStar
also said it would assume about $1.9 billion in Hughes debt.
EchoStar competes with global media giant News Corp. (NYSE:NWS - news) (NCP.AX), which
seeks to merge DirecTV with its Sky Global network of satellite services.
Littleton, Colorado-based EchoStar operates the Dish Network, the No. 2 U.S. satellite television
service. El Segundo, California-based Hughes, a unit of automobiles giant General Motors Corp.
(NYSE:GM - news), has been negotiating for the sale of DirecTV since last fall.
Shareholders of General Motors and Hughes would own about 66 percent of the diluted equity in the
combined company under the EchoStar bid.
General Motors said in May it had approved talks between Hughes and News Corp., controlled by
media mogul Rupert Murdoch and based in Australia. General Motors and News Corp. have been
engaged in discussions over Hughes for some time and had negotiations as recently as last week,
sources familiar with the situation have said.
EchoStar, meanwhile, said on July 19 that it could not convince the Hughes' board to make a deal.
Officials at General Motors and News Corp. were not immediately available for comment.
EchoStar said it has identified massive synergy opportunities valued at about $37 billion, or $26 per
share, for Hughes shareholders and up to $11 billion, or $20 per share, to General Motors
In a letter to GM Chairman John Smith, EchoStar Chairman and Chief Executive Charles Ergen said a
combination of Hughes and EchoStar could establish a competitive alternative to the powerful U.S.
cable and broadband service providers.
``The combined company's unrivaled satellite network and subscriber base would enable it to achieve
greater profitability than either company would be able to achieve on its own,'' Ergen wrote.
DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite television broadcaster, has already embarked on a strategy of
delivering communications through broadband networks. A broadband network is one in which the
``bandwidth,'' or range of frequencies, can be divided and shared by multiple simultaneous signals
such as voice, data or video.
The letter states that the management of Hughes and DirecTV have recently informed EchoStar that
they do not intend to pursue merger discussions with EchoStar.
``In light of the enormous benefits of our proposed combination, we are submitting this proposal
directly to you for you for your consideration,'' Ergen wrote to Smith.
Ergen said his company has reviewed the potential deal with antitrust experts, including David Boies
of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) antitrust trial fame, and EchoStar is confident it could
obtain antitrust clearance in a ``reasonable'' timeframe.
Although DirecTV is the coveted aspect of the deal, Hughes also controls satellite network PanAmSat
Corp. (Nasdaq:SPOT - news) and Hughes Network Systems, which supplies wireless business
networks and telecommunications equipment.
EchoStar's Dish Network serves more than 6 million subscribers in the continental United States.
Ergen owns more than half of the company but retains about 90 percent of the voting power.
Shares of EchoStar closed at $30.44 on Friday on Nasdaq, off the 52-week high of $56.44 and up
from a low of $20.50. Shares of News Corp., which owns most of Fox Entertainment Group, closed
at $38.25 on the New York Stock Exchange (news - web sites) on Friday, off a high of $57.50 in the
past year and up from the low of $28.65.
Shares of Hughes, which closed at $19.36 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, have
reached as high as $38.00 in the past year but are barely up from the low of $17.55.
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