Dish Network Said to Plan Nationwide Satellite Broadband
As if I was not totally confused already, and frustrated that no satellite broadband company seems willing or able to currently offer me 5mb service in my zip code (99401), I read the news story below on Bloomberg that Dish will be potentially entering the fray as early as next month. What's especially confusing is it appears that two or more companies are using the same exact satellite (Echostar 17) to expand/improve their service. So based on what is my understanding: 1) Dish to enter the satellite broadband business. 2) Echostar is the company that owns the satellites and puts them up. 3) Echostar and Dish are essentially the same company with the same CEO at the top. 4) Echostar has satellite usage/leasing deals with Viasat/Exede and Hughesnet, which has enabled them to offer improved service, albeit some of that capacity is already filled. 5) Perhaps not coincidently, it seems that Hughesnet and Dish may be offering new service around the end of September. I was just about ready to order service from Hughesnet (after giving up on Exede) with the hopes that it would be a path to 5 mb service, I might once again have to go into another holding pattern to wait and see what Dish might have to offer at the end of September.
Dish Network Said to Plan Nationwide Satellite Broadband
By Alex Sherman - Aug 15, 2012 9:01 PM PT
Dish Network Corp. is preparing to introduce a nationwide broadband-Internet service using a satellite from sister company EchoStar Corp. (SATS), according to three people familiar with the situation.
The EchoStar 17 satellite, launched into orbit July 5, can support download speeds of 15 megabits per second, although introductory nationwide packages will probably offer rates of 5 megabits so the system can take on more capacity, said one of the people, who declined to be named because the plans are private. Dish and EchoStar can handle about 2 million new Internet customers with the service, the person said.
Enlarge image Dish Network Said to Plan Nationwide Satellite Broadband Service
Dish already offers satellite broadband through a partnership with Carlsbad, California-based ViaSat Inc., though that only covers certain parts of the U.S. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
The move is the result of technological advances for the U.S. satellite industry, which can now use higher-frequency bands to offer faster broadband to more people. The capacity for these kinds of services has climbed “by an order of magnitude,” said Deepak Dutt, vice president of investor relations at EchoStar, who declined to comment on the Dish deal.
Dish expects to formally offer the service in late September or early October, mainly to subscribers in rural areas who may not have access to cable broadband, two of the people said. Bob Toevs, a spokesman for Englewood, Colorado-based Dish, declined to comment.
EchoStar and Dish became separate companies in January 2008, with Charlie Ergen remaining the chairman of both. The details of how they will split revenue and how much the service will cost consumers are still being discussed, one of the people said.
Dish shares rose 1.4 percent to $31.05 yesterday. The stock has climbed 9 percent so far in 2012. EchoStar, up 36 percent this year, fell 1.1 percent to $28.40.
Dish already offers satellite broadband through a partnership with Carlsbad, California-based ViaSat Inc. (VSAT), though that only covers certain parts of the U.S., including areas east of the Mississippi River and the West Coast. It gives some customers speeds of as much as 12 megabits per second. The new offering will augment that product and give Dish nationwide coverage, the people said.
By packaging satellite broadband with its current video service, Dish can offer customers a bundled option. That means it will compete more directly with cable companies, as well as satellite rival DirecTV (DTV), AT&T Inc. (T)’s U-verse and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)’s FiOS.
Dish may need to add more satellites to expand the service beyond 2 million people while maintaining the same speeds. The company, which has a total of about 14 million customers, hasn’t disclosed how many users are served by the ViaSat agreement.
Dish is waiting for Federal Communications Commission approval to use its wireless spectrum to offer mobile Internet and phone service, which the company could bundle with satellite TV and broadband. That would give users a so-called quad play.
The EchoStar service is meant for customers who can’t get the faster speeds provided by cable and phone companies in more urban areas. Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable provider, offers as much as 305 megabits per second. Verizon FiOS, meanwhile, goes as high as 300 megabits.
Most home Internet users typically don’t notice a difference in speed beyond 25 to 50 megabits, according to Jonathan Atkin, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets in New York.
Dish Chief Executive Officer Joseph Clayton said in January that the market potential for satellite broadband service is “substantial, given the nearly 8 million to 10 million mostly rural American households that are unserved.”
Ya 'all are speechless, eh? Well, at least no one hijacked my thread!
Having re-read the news story and thinking about this some more, its interesting that Dish Networks and Hughesnet are both part of the Echostar empire. Yet, Dish has been selling Viasat/Exede service, even though Viasat and Hughesnet are direct competitors, so they must be a fairly autonomous company, whose intent is to sell whatever the best satellite services are available, and bundle them with their Dish TV services. Also, I stand corrected in my mistaken belief that Viasat was using any of the Echostar satellites.
The news story seems to imply that Dish will augment the current Viasat reselling partnership with services that will become available on the new Echostar 17 satellite to offer a more robust, nationwide high speed satellite internet service. That leaves some hope the new satellite will be more friendly and targeted to us "gap dwellers" that live in the desert southwest, mountain states and pacific northwest (where I live). I guess it doesn't matter if they market this under a new brand of Dish service, or offer this as some combination of Hughesnet and/or Viasat/Exced partnerships. Either way, I will be darn happy if I can finally obtain 5mbit or better service by the end of September! This has been quite a journey!
It's been discussed in other threads.
WB1| Beam 133 | Gateway Duluth | Jan 2009
Exede12 | Beam 331 | Gateway Salt Lake City | March 2012