In a $250 million deal with Maryland-based satellite network company Hughes, Xplornet has announced that it will provide rural internet with the JUPITER 3 Ultra High Density Satellite (UHDS), dubbed EchoStar 24 and expected to launch in 2021.
“JUPITER 3 is expected to provide the highest speed satellite Internet service in Canada, with download speeds of 100Mbps, answering our customers’ need for fast and reliable broadband to connect them to what matters,” said Allison Lenehan, CEO of Xplornet in a release on Monday.
The JUPITER 3 equipment is planned to have a total throughput of 500mbps, twice as much as the last generation of technology. The release explained that it will reach 90 percent of Canadians, as well as other regions in North and South America.
This will mean higher simultaneous download capacity than previously offered, so more users can use the service at once. Although, since the connection is satellite-based, the technology is limited by higher-than-average latency metrics when compared to a ground-based connection at the same speeds. Latency is the time data takes to go from one part of the network to another, and dictates performance in applications like online gaming or video calls.
“At the end of the day, our objective is to give our existing satellite customers more: more speed, and more data at similar prices to what they pay now,” said Xplornet’s spokesperson James Maunder in an email to MobileSyrup. “It is a major innovation in new technology and a major investment in rural Canada.”
The satellite is slated to work for 15 years and the deal also includes system gateway access, consumer premise equipment and operational and support services. The deal was funded entirely through private capital.
Previously, the New Brunswick-based telecom provider Xplornet said it will also invest over $500 million over the next five years to deliver 5G-based fixed wireless services to Canadians. As well, the rural provider started to introduce unlimited data plans for its LTE-based home broadband offerings.