Xplornet Communications, the Canadian rural broadband specialist, has committed to a lifetime lease for all of the Canadian satellite broadband capacity on Hughes Network Systems’ Echostar XIX, a next-generation high throughput satellite due for launch in mid-2016. In addition to satellite capacity, Xplornet will take delivery of satellite gateways, operational and support services and consumer user terminals in a programme that is expected to be worth around USD200 million. Built by Space Systems Loral, EchoStar XIX will have over 160Gbps throughput, approximately 50% more capacity than EchoStar XVII which was launched in 2012, and is the primary platform supporting over 916,000 HughesNet users across the USA. The new satellite should have a lifetime of at least 15 years.
Earlier in the month, Xplornet contracted with ViaSat for all of the residential capacity covering Canada on the ViaSat-2 satellite. Already offering high speed satellite internet on ViaSat-1, Xplornet announced that it will be able to offer faster speeds and more data throughput for its customers with the doubling of bandwidth efficiency expected from ViaSat-2, which is scheduled for a mid-2016 launch. The commitment is for the life of the satellite and the value is up to USD275 million depending on options.