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Hughes Network Systems has announced that its customer, AFSAT Receives VSAT Operator Award for Best Company of the Year at SatCom Africa 2008 Conference 2008 first year for the SatCom Africa Stars honoring the satellite industry.

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the global leader in broadband satellite network solutions and services, today announced that its customer, AFSAT Communications Ltd., received the "VSAT Operator Award for Best Company of the Year 2008" at a gala dinner held at the Intercontinental Sandton Sun & Towers on April 8th during the SatCom Africa 2008 conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. This was the 11th year of the SatCom Africa conference and show, which is a key conference
for the east, south and west of Africa.

AFSAT offers three services of broadband satellite communications under the iWay(TM) brand; iWay Broadband, iWay Dedicated, and iWay Corporate Networks. iWay Broadband is a cost-effective, always-on Internet access service including business-quality data communications solution and business-quality VoIP. iWay Dedicated is designed for larger corporations and ISPs who need specific bandwidth availability at all times. iWay Corporate Networks are specially designed high-end satellite WAN data networks.

Salim Suleman, managing director of AFSAT, said, "We are honored to receive the "VSAT Operator Award for the Best Company of the Year 2008. Since receiving our first license in 1996, our business has grown tremendously. The performance of the Hughes products has contributed to the success we have achieved. We take pride in providing our customers with high-quality communications solutions unique to their needs."

AFSAT's services are primarily based on the Hughes family of broadband satellite routers and hubs. The Hughes products are compliant with the IPoS/DVB-S2 industry standard which yields higher throughputs and more efficient bandwidth utilization. In addition, the Hughes product platforms feature Adaptive Coding Modulation (ACM) which means the combination of coding and modulation of the outbound channel can be configured for each remote terminal so that the Hughes system is able to transmit data at the optimum efficiency for each terminal.

Soheil Mehrabanzad, assistant vice president and regional director, Middle East/Africa at Hughes, said, "We are very pleased that our loyal customer, AFSAT, has received this honor. It has been a pleasure working with them over the years, supplying Hughes broadband equipment and helping them to develop their business."
The criteria for the VSAT Operator of the Year included:
-- Number of terminals delivering services
-- Rate of growth
-- Amount of bandwidth deployed
-- Variety of sectors serviced
-- Services available
-- Lobbying the regulatory environment to protect VSAT frequencies

Since its inception in 1996 when AFSAT received its VSAT licenses in two
East African countries, the company's reputation and technological capabilities have developed and expanded. AFSAT now has over 50,000 corporate customers in 26 countries across Africa. In addition to its Nairobi headquarters and subsidiaries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Nigeria, AFSAT has 32 distributors throughout the region. In 2007, AFSAT was the recipient of the World Communications Awards "The Best Operator in a Developing Market."

AFSAT has demonstrated strong growth plans with the right products and services in a market characterized by unique challenges and operational difficulties. The distinctive capabilities that make AFSAT, through its iWay
Africa brand, the market leader include:
-- AFSAT is an African company run by Africans in 26 African countries.
-- Commitment to Africa: four fully-redundant NOCs serve Africa. The NOCS
are remotely managed by a Network Operations Management team in Kenya.
-- Technology on Hughes platform: iWay Africa offers business-quality
connectivity. It is the only shared, managed service in Africa that
offers guaranteed speeds to the customer.

To learn more about iWay, please visit .

About Hughes Network Systems
Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) is the global leader in providing broadband satellite networks and services for large enterprises, governments, small businesses, and consumers. HughesNet(R) encompasses all broadband solutions and managed services from Hughes, bridging the best of satellite and terrestrial technologies. Hughes has shipped more than 1.5 million systems to customers in over 100 countries. Its broadband satellite products are based on global standards approved by the TIA, ETSI and ITU standards organizations, including IPoS/DVB-S2, RSM-A and GMR-1.

Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes maintains sales and support offices worldwide. Hughes is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hughes Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: HUGH). For additional information, please visit

Hughes Network Systems, LLC. Hughes and HughesNet are registered trademarks of Hughes Network Systems, LLC. iWay is a trademark of AFSAT Communications, Ltd.
SOURCE Hughes Network Systems, LLC

Judy Blake of Hughes Network Systems, LLC, +1-301-601-7330,; or
Donna Armstrong of Brodeur, +1-202-775-2650,
source :,

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