Echostar Communications Corporation

EchoStar Corporation
Traded as SATS
Industry Telecommunication
Founded 1980
Headquarters Inverness, Colorado, United States
Key people Charlie Ergen, chairman; Michael Dugan, chief executive officer
Subsidiaries Sling Media, Hughes Communications

EchoStar Corporation is a global satellite services provider and developer of hybrid video delivery technologies. EchoStar is the owner and operator of the satellite fleet for closely affiliated Dish Network. The company also designs and manufactures set-top boxes to receive the Freeview broadcasts in the United Kingdom, as well as receivers for Bell TV in Canada. EchoStar also owns Sling Media, which designs and builds the Slingbox TV streaming device, and satellite internet provider Hughes Communications. Prior to 2008, EchoStar operated the Dish Network service brand; the Dish Network brand was spun off as Dish Network Corporation on January 1, 2008.


EchoStar was originally formed in 1980 by its chairman Charles Ergen as a distributor of C band TV systems. In 1987, EchoStar applied for a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) license with the Federal Communications Commission and was granted access to orbital slot 119° west longitude in 1992.

On 28 December 1995, EchoStar successfully launched its first satellite, EchoStar I. On 4 March 1996, EchoStar established the Dish Network brand name to market its home satellite TV system.

In 1998, EchoStar purchased the broadcasting assets of a satellite broadcasting joint venture of News Corporation's ASkyB and MCI Worldcom. With this purchase EchoStar obtained 28 of the 32 transponder licenses in the 110° W orbital slot, more than doubling existing CONUS broadcasting capacity at a value of $682.5 million. The acquisition inspired the company to introduce a multi-satellite system called DISH 500, theoretically capable of receiving more than 500 channels on one dish.

"Legacy" represent the 950 to 1450mhz frequencies used to deliver the signal throughout the home; the signal is broadcast to the home on the Ku band from satellite (12.2 - 12.7 GHz). Ku frequencies will not work on home wiring, the signal is downconverted to the intermediate frequency (IF) of 950-1450mhz at the dish antenna. Newer technology (DishPro) also uses 1650-2150mhz in addition to 950-1450.

Also in 1998, EchoStar - in association with Bell Canada - launched Bell TV.

On 25 September 2007, EchoStar announced it had agreed to acquire Sling Media, Inc.

On 2 January 2008, the Dish Network business was demerged from the technology and infrastructure side of the business. A split in the shares created two companies, DISH Network Corporation which consists mainly of the DISH Network business, and EchoStar Corporation which retains ownership of the technology side including the satellites, Sling Media, and the set-top box development arm.

On February 14, 2011, EchoStar announced that it would acquire Hughes Communications in a deal valued at US$1.3 billion.[1]

TiVo patent lawsuit

Main article: TiVo Inc. v. EchoStar Corp.

On June 3, 2009, satellite service provider EchoStar was found by Marshall, Texas, federal district court judge David Folsom to be in contempt of a permanent injunction against using some of TiVo's technology and was required to pay the DVR pioneer $103.1 million plus interest.

On June 8, 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a Final Office Action maintaining its rejection of the software claims of TiVo's patent. These software claims are the same claims that EchoStar was found to have infringed in the contempt ruling now pending for en banc review by the Federal Circuit. In the Final Office Action, three examiners of the PTO considered TiVo's response and, in a detailed 32-page decision, finally concluded that the software claims were unpatentable in view of two prior art references.[2]

On February 8, 2011, EchoStar won a motion to reopen the lawsuit. U.S. Magistrate Caroline Craven stated in her order that "To continue the stay would only further delay this case without the likelihood of further simplification of the issues,".[3]

On May 3, 2011, Dish Network Corporation and EchoStar Corporation agreed to pay TiVo Inc. $500 million to settle a dispute over the use of some of TiVo’s technology.[4]

Satellite fleet

Orbital Locations Vary
Since EchoStar frequently moves satellites among its many orbiting slots this list is not immediately accurate.
Refer to for detailed satellite information.

EchoStar Satellites
Satellite Location Launched Type Notes
EchoStar I 77° W 28 December 1995 Lockheed Martin Astro Space Series 7000 (AS-7000)
EchoStar II 148° W 10 September 1996 Lockheed Martin Astro Space Series 7000 (AS-7000) On 14 July 2008, EchoStar made a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that stated EchoStar II "experienced a substantial failure that appears to have rendered the satellite a total loss".
EchoStar III 61.5° W 5 October 1997 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX Satellite has experienced many failures causing limited use; it will be replaced in the near future.
EchoStar IV 77° W
8 May 1998 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX EchoStar IV at 77° W is not licensed to serve customers in the United States. EchoStar has placed the satellite in this Mexican controlled orbital slot to serve customers of its Dish Mexico service.
EchoStar V 148° W 23 September 1999 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 EchoStar V was replaced at 129 (national HD and local HD and SD stations) by Ciel 2. Echostar V has since been shut down and emergency deorbited.
EchoStar VI 61.5° W 14 July 2000 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 Recently moved from 72.5 after being replaced. This satellite is meant to be used as a backup.
EchoStar VII 119° W 21 February 2002 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX
EchoStar VIII 77° W 21 August 2002 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300
EchoStar IX/ Galaxy 23 121° W 7 August 2003 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 Customers use SuperDISH 121 to receive this non-DBS, medium-powered signal. Satellite is jointly owned by EchoStar and Intelsat. The Ku band is owned by EchoStar. Ka band payload owned by EchoStar and not currently in use. C band payload owned by Intelsat and is known as Galaxy 23.
EchoStar X 110° W 15 February 2006 Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space A2100AX
EchoStar XI 110° W 15 July 2008 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300
Echostar XII/ Rainbow 1 61.5° W 17 July 2003 Lockheed-Martin AS-2100 Rainbow 1 was launched by Cablevision/Rainbow DBS and used for the Voom DBS service at 61.5° W until the satellite and transponder licenses were sold to EchoStar in 2005. March 2006 saw DISH Network rename it to EchoStar 12. It is co-located with EchoStar III at 61.5° W.
CMBStar[5] none Never Launched Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Satellite was supposed to have been launched over China; it never launched.
EchoStar XIV 119° W 19 March 2010 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 New Satellite that launched on March 19, 2010. It is designed to provide more spotbeams for local channels.
EchoStar XV 61.5° W 10 July 2010 Space Systems/Loral LS-1300 Satellite is located at 61.5 degrees West.
EchoStar XVI 61.5° W 20 November 2012 Space Systems/Loral FS-1300 Satellite provides additional capacity at the 61.5 orbital location. It holds an archival disc called The Last Pictures, which is micro-etched with 100 images of modern human history and made of ultra-archival materials meant to last for billions of years into the future as a time capsule.[6]
EchoStar XVII 5 July 2012[7] On July 5, 2012 EchoStar launched their ECHOSTAR XVII satellite.[8] This satellite provided 100Gbit/s of capacity to their HughesNet product. In Q4 of 2012 HughesNet began offering their Gen4 product. This product offers two way satellite internet speeds of up to 15Mbit/s and data allowances up to 40Gb.[9]


External links

  • EchoStar homepage
  • EchoStar Europe
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