HughesNet and Exede have a long history that brought them to be leading providers of satellite television and internet. Digital Communications Corporation was founded in 1971 by Howard Hughes as a division of Hughes Aircraft. After Howard Hughes passed away in 1976, General Motors purchased the Aircraft company and created Hughes Electronics as an umbrella company. Over the next decade, Hughes Electrons created five departments including, Hughes Space and Communications, Hughes Aircraft, Delco Electronics, DirecTV, and Hughes Network Systems.
Digital Communications became Hughes Network System in 1987 after Hughes Aircraft acquired M/A-COM Telecommunications and renamed the company. One year prior to this, Mark Dankberg founded ViaSat, which was the first building block of Exede. Both ViaSat and Hughes Network Systems wanted to begin selling satellite TV and internet in the consumer market. Hughes Electronics became a publically traded company in 1996 when they acquired PanAmSat. Four years later, David Drucker created WildBlue and partnered with ViaSat to create a ground network infrastructure.
After WildBlue and ViaSat became partners, WildBlue was able to launch two satellites in 2004 and 2006 respectively. They also leased space on another satellite to keep up with growing customer demand. During this same period, Hughes Network Systems was going through a series of buyouts. Rupert Murdoch bought Hughes Network in 2003 and two short years sold it to SkyTerra Communications. SkyTerra only controlled the company for one year before spinning it off as its own separate entity in 2006. This individual company was then renamed HughesNet.
WildBlue was acquired by ViaSat in 2009 so that both companies could gain a competitive advantage in the retail market. HughesNet followed a similar strategy in 2011 when they were bought by EchoStar, a leading satellite developing company. That same year, ViaSat launched the world's largest satellite for the time. One year later HughesNet launched a satellite and ViaSat renamed themselves Exede. In 2016, HughesNet is planning on launching Jupiter 2 in order to expand their coverage area and bring customers faster speeds. Exede has two satellite launches planned, one in 2017 and one in 2020. They want to become the first global provider of satellite cable and internet and deliver their service at lightning fast speeds and low cost. Both companies will have significant opportunities with their customers after launching the new satellites.
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