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TMCnet Feature

January 08, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: EchoStar Has Full Ownership of Solaris Mobile Ltd.

A report released by Research and Markets in November of 2013 forecasted the global mobile satellite service (MSS) market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1 percent over the 2011-2015 period. The growth will be driven primarily by the increasing adoption of the technology in the maritime sector, as well as emergency services. The market will also experience growth as the number of connected devices continues to increase requiring satellite communications for the Internet of Things (IoT) in remote locations without cellular networks. The growth in the market is leading to some M&A in the sector, the latest being the acquisition of Solaris Mobile Ltd., a jointly-owned company set up to develop next-generation MSS by SES and Eutelsat Communication, by EchoStar.

Details of the acquisition remain confidential, but EchoStar will be the sole owner of Solaris Mobile. This will give it a European Union licensee of mobile satellite services with a complimentary ground component S-Band. The S-Band spectrum is in the 2GHz band next to the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) used by 3G mobile operators.

Solaris Mobile was set up as a joint venture in 2008 in order to develop next generation mobile communication services. The company was awarded the right to operate satellite and terrestrial services in S-Band by the European Commission in all EU member states.

EchoStar Corporation (SATS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hughes, is a global provider of satellite operations and video delivery solutions. The company has customers in more than 100 countries delivering satellite broadband services, network technologies and managed services for enterprise and government. It is headquartered in Englewood, CO, with additional business units around the world.

EchoStar's consumer solutions include HughesNet, the number one high-speed satellite Internet service in North America, Sling Media's Slingbox products, and EchoStar's line of set-top box products for the free-to-air satellite and terrestrial markets.

EchoStar's third quarter report for 2013 ending Sept. 30 saw total revenues of $849 million, compared to $765 million for the same period in 2012.

"Through this acquisition and our mobile satellite infrastructure expertise, we look forward to accelerating advanced mobile services throughout the European Union. We are excited to build upon the groundwork laid by Solaris Mobile by most immediately bringing with us access to a next generation MSS satellite which will support a wide range of innovative services across the European Union," said Anders Johnson, president, EchoStar Satellite Services. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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