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EchoStar unit launches world's highest capacity broadband satellite

EchoStar Corp.-owned Hughes Network Systems LLC on Dec. 18 launched the world's highest capacity broadband satellite, EchoStar XIX.

EchoStar XIX, when combined with EchoStar XVII, will get HughesNet to double its current capacity, supporting faster speeds and providing more data. The satellite will be tested thoroughly before it goes live at the end of the first quarter of 2017, when Hughes launches its HughesNet Gen5 high ­speed satellite Internet service in the U.S.

The satellite is designed with Hughes JUPITER™ System technology and is a multi-spot beam, Ka-band satellite. It will power HughesNet Gen 5 in its final orbit, the company said Dec. 19. EchoStar XIX will be able to provide more speed and more data for consumers and small businesses that have limited internet access options.

EchoStar XIX was built by Space System Loral and was launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Fla. The 138 beams of the satellite will cover the continental U.S., Alaska, Mexico and parts of Canada and Central America.