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Hughes Network systems, who is the global leader in broadband satellite and internet provider, has recently announced the successful completion of the in-orbit testing and handover of the EchoStar XIX satellite. The satellite is manufactured by Space Systems Loral (SSL) and is a Ka-band high throughput satellite.

The satellite is placed in to a geostationary orbit at 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth and it is the world’s highest capacity broadband satellite. It was launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida on December 18, 2016. Extensive in-orbit testing of the satellite was completed very efficiently.

“Accepting handover of EchoStar XIX begins the final testing phase in preparation for commercial launch of our fifth-generation HughesNet service,” said Pradman Kaul, president of Hughes. “As providers of America’s #1 high-speed satellite Internet service, we are excited to now further expand availability of even faster speeds and more data for our customers across the nation. The rapid completion of in-orbit testing is a testament to how well our Hughes and SSL teams worked side-by-side over the last several months to ensure a smooth and successful outcome.”

EchoStar XIX is designed with JUPITER System technology of HughesNet and is a Ka-band high-throughput satellite that offers 138 beams. These beams can cover the continental United States, Mexico, Alaska, parts of Canada, and Central America. The satellite will power HughesNet Gen5, which is the next generation of high-speed satellite internet service in the United States.

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With HughesNet Gen5, HughesNet is aiming to become the fastest internet provider in the US. HughesNet Gen5 can deliver more speed, more data, and more advanced features to users and small businesses regardless of their location.

EchoStar XIX joined the EchoStar XVII satellite that has been serving HughesNet since 2012. The new satellite will enable HughesNet to more than double their current capacity. They currently have more than a million subscribers and are the largest satellite service of the nation.

HughesNet was also ranked first, among all the internet providers, in offering the advertised speeds by the FCC 2016 “Measuring Broadband in America” report and this was for the second year in a row. It is reported that HughesNet will place EchoStar XIX into service by the end of the first quarter of 2017.