Starlink Rival HughesNet Launches Upgraded 100 Mbps Satellite Internet Plans





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HughesNet on Tuesday launched new satellite internet plans boasting upgraded download speeds of up to 100 Mbps as it hopes to regain ground lost to Starlink. 

The new plans, which fall under the Elite and Fusion tiers, following the launch of Jupiter 3, one of the world’s largest communications satellite constellations that brought in much-needed capacity.

Jupiter 3 launched in July, and after several tests, HughesNet deemed the satellite “ready for action.” It is an “ultra-high-density satellite” that features more than 300 spot beams to decrease congestion and deliver faster connections. Using artificial intelligence, the satellite, paired with its ground system, automatically reroutes traffic to avoid congestion. 

The satellite is designed to offer more than 500 Gbps in broadband capacity, meaning HughestNet’s total capacity can reach more than 1 Tbps. The Fusion plan uses satellites as well as terrestrial cellular networks to improve speed and decrease latency. The Elite tier, however, only relies on satellite constellations for connections. 

The addition of Jupiter 3 to HughesNet’s constellation helps it better compete against Starlink. SpaceX’s satellite internet system already reaches more than 2.2 million customers globally, and HughesNet’s 100 Mbps speeds don’t match Starlink’s download rates of more than 220 Mbps. 

However, many U.S. households have reported Starlink download speeds range from 70 to 79 Mbps and average 10.5 Mbps upload speeds, according to Ookla’s Speedtest.

HughesNet’s prices are also more budget-friendly than Starlink’s $120 per month residential service. The upgraded speeds contribute to the existing HughesNet Fusion plan, which offered customers max download speeds of 25 Mbps starting at $74.99 a month or 50 Mbps for $149.99 a month. The new 100 Mbps Fusion plan costs $109.99 a month, but upload speeds only reach 5 Mbps, which is consistent across all plan tiers. 

Following the Jupiter 3 launch, all plans now come with unlimited Standard Data. The Select tier offers 100 GB of priority data, whereas the Elite plan for $89.99 a month and the Fusion plan for $109.99 a month goes up to 200 GB. 

Another advantage to HughesNet is leasing equipment rather than buying it outright, as Starlink customers must do at sign-up. Startup costs for HughesNet’s satellite plans include a $299.99 equipment fee or $14.99 in rental costs. The Fusion plan costs $449.99 to purchase or $19.99 a month. Starlink’s satellites start at $600. 

HughesNet is offering discounts on its plans. Customers can sign up for the Select plan for $49.99 a month for 12 months, the Elite plan for $64.99 a month, or lock in the Fusion plan for $79.99 for a year.

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