Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), a leading global satellite operator based in the United Arab Emirates and wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, and Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes), a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation, announced on 6 May 2019 an agreement to enter into a joint venture to provide commercial Ka-band satellite broadband services in Brazil. This new venture combines Hughes experience delivering satellite networks and services in Brazil with Yahsat’s strong position and capabilities in the region. Hughes will hold the majority interest in the joint venture.
The new entity will combine Hughes do Brazil with Yahsat’s consumer broadband company in Brazil, creating a strong value proposition to serve the growing market demand for a wide range of broadband services, including consumer Internet access, enterprise networks, cellular backhaul and community Wi-Fi hotspot solutions. The venture will combine the companies’ more than 65 Gbps of Ka-band satellite capacity on Hughes 65 West, Hughes 63 West and Al-Yah 3 high-throughput satellites (HTS), reaching more than 95% of Brazil’s population. It also includes Hughes and Yahsat’s three gateways in Brazil. In addition to the combined existing capacity, the new entity will also leverage the capacity on Hughes next-generation JUPITER™ 3 Ultra High Density Satellite (UHDS), designated EchoStar-XXIV, planned for launch in 2021.
In 2018, Yahsat and Hughes launched a joint venture to provide satellite broadband services to the Middle East, Africa and southwest Asia markets.
“The formation of the new joint venture with Hughes in Brazil will strengthen the nation’s digital landscape and bring with it a host of lasting benefits for communities and businesses across Brazil,” said Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, Yahsat’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our partnership with Hughes supports Yahsat’s mission to enable social and economic development by empowering communities in remote regions with high-performance broadband connectivity. We now look forward to combining our efforts to unlock the massive potential of the largest and most exciting economy in Latin America.”
Pradman Kaul, president of Hughes, added: “Yahsat is the logical partner for Hughes in Brazil as we continue to expand our services and meet growing demand across consumer, enterprise and carrier markets. Brazilians throughout the country will benefit from the capacity, scale and operational synergies of our combined entity as we connect the unconnected and enable businesses and communities to thrive.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions, and is expected to occur later this year.