Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), and Hughes Network Systems (HUGHES), a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (EchoStar) (NASDAQ: SATS), have commenced 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 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, CEO and managing director of Mubadala; Charlie Ergen, chairman of EchoStar; Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO of Yahsat; and Ramesh Ramaswamy, SVP and GM, 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 use 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.
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.
Mr. Mahmood said that in this joint venture with Hughes, the company is building upon the digital landscape of the firm's 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. This is an important step in unlocking the company's potential as well as the potential of those the firm serves by combining the companies' respective leadership and global experience.
Mr. Kaul added that 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. Hughes is pleased to join with longtime partner, Yahsat, in serving these important and growing markets.