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Yahsat & Hughes Launch Joint Venture to Deliver Satellite Broadband Connectivity Across Africa, Middle East & Southwest Asia

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 17, 2018
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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 16, 2018 (Hughes Network Systems PR) — Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), a leading global satellite operator based in the United Arab Emirates and wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), and Hughes Network Systems (HUGHES), a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (EchoStar) (NASDAQ: SATS), a premier global provider of satellite communication solutions, today announced the commencement of a joint venture to provide commercial satellite services across Africa, the Middle East and southwest Asia.

The agreement to form the joint venture was announced in September 2018, during the World Satellite Business Week Conference held in Paris, and was subject to regulatory and other approvals that have now been obtained. The newly formed company is bringing services to market as “YahClick, powered by Hughes,” and is now operational.

The joint venture was launched during a ceremony at Mubadala’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi in the presence of Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chief executive officer and managing director of Mubadala; Charlie Ergen, chairman of EchoStar; Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, chief executive officer of Yahsat; and Ramesh Ramaswamy, senior vice president and general manager, International Division, Hughes.

Through the collaboration, Yahsat will combine its unique position and knowledge as the leading provider of satellite broadband solutions within its current markets with Hughes expertise as the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services. Providing unserved and underserved communities with reliable, high-speed Internet services via Yahsat’s Al Yah 2 and Al Yah 3 Ka-band satellites, the new entity will utilize the capabilities of the Hughes JUPITER™ System, designed and optimized for large-scale High-Throughput Satellites (HTS), and Hughes Operating and Business Support System (OSS/BSS) solutions for comprehensive network operations and management.

The new company’s board of directors consists of three members from Yahsat and two from Hughes, with Mr. Mahmood serving as chairman of the board and Pradman Kaul, president of Hughes, serving as a board director.

“In this joint venture with Hughes, we’re building upon the digital landscape of our target regions to empower and enable communities, governments and businesses in unserved and underserved communities to realize economic and social benefit from Yahsat’s high-performance satellite broadband services,” commented Mr. Mahmood. “This is an important step in unlocking not only our potential, but the potential of those we serve by combining our respective leadership and global experience.”

Mr. Kaul added, “The commencement of the joint venture furthers Hughes commitment to bridging the global digital divide, bringing unserved and underserved communities everywhere the benefits of the connected experience. We are pleased to join with longtime partner, Yahsat, in serving these important and growing markets.”

The joint venture provides “direct-to-premise services” to homes and small to medium-sized enterprises, and to community centers and schools under local government programs across the targeted regions. The company also offers “community hotspot” solutions to make satellite-enabled broadband more accessible to many more users across Yahsat’s global footprint, which today covers more than one billion people. Further, the joint venture enables the Mobile Network Operator community to benefit from the efficiencies provided by Ka-band-based cellular backhaul and carrier solutions.

About Yahsat

Yahsat is a leading global satellite operator, providing multipurpose satellite solutions for broadband, broadcast and government communications use across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Central and southwest Asia. Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, the investment vehicle of the Government of Abu Dhabi Yahsat is the first company in the Middle East and Africa to offer Ka-band services including YahClick, Yahsat Government Solutions, YahLink and Yahlive via its Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 satellites.

With the recent launch of Al Yah 3 satellite, Yahsat’s commercial Ka-band coverage will be extended to 20 additional markets, reaching 60% of Africa’s population and over 95% of Brazil’s population.

Yahsat has recently acquired a majority and controlling stake in Thuraya, UAE’s first home-grown mobile satellite services operator. The acquisition enables Yahsat to provide a broad range of Fixed and Mobile Satellite Services to over 160 countries.

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