LITTLETON, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 6, 1999--EchoStar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: DISH, DISHP) announced today that EchoStar V, EchoStar's fifth direct broadcast satellite which launched successfully on September 23, 1999, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., has reached its final orbit at 110 degrees West Longitude as assigned by the Federal Communications Commission.
EchoStar V achieved final standard geostationary orbit after approximately 13 days of various spacecraft maneuvers that were managed and implemented by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif. EchoStar V was placed in its final location at 110 degrees W.L. after completing a series of thruster burns. The solar panels were successfully deployed a few hours after launch and the communication antennas were successfully deployed, as expected, on Oct. 4, 1999. In-orbit payload testing will begin on Oct. 8 and is expected to continue for several weeks. To date, all systems on the satellite are operating normally. EchoStar V was built by Space Systems/Loral based on its FS 1300 series design.
EchoStar V will add 150 more audio and video channels to the existing 350 channels of programming now available, enabling EchoStar's DISH Network™ satellite TV service to become the first TV provider in the nation to offer 500 channels using a single small dish that can receive satellite signals from EchoStar satellites located at both the 110 degrees W.L. and the 119 degrees W.L. orbital locations.
In the second quarter of 2000, EchoStar plans to launch its high-power EchoStar VI satellite into the 110 degree W.L. orbital location, offering consumers more digital video and audio channels, high definition television, high-speed data services and local channels.
EchoStar Communications Corp., includes three interrelated business units:
o DISH Network™ is EchoStar's state-of-the-art direct broadcast satellite system that is capable of offering over 500 channels of digital video and CD-quality audio programming, fully MPEG-2/DVB compliant hardware and installation. DISH Network was also rated number one in customer satisfaction among satellite/cable TV subscribers by the J.D. Power and Associates 1999 Cable/Satellite TV Customer Satisfaction Study.
o EchoStar Technologies Corporation designs, manufactures and distributes DBS set-top boxes, antennas and other digital equipment for the DISH Network and various international customers that include ExpressVu Canada and the Via Digital system in Spain. ETC provides construction, oversight and project integration services for customers internationally. ETC also oversees EchoStar Data Networks Corporation in Atlanta, a leading supplier of MediaStream® technology for distributing Internet content over satellite networks.
o Satellite Services provides the delivery of video, audio and data services to business television customers and other satellite users. These services include satellite uplink, satellite transponder space usage and other services. Satellite Services also administers SKY VISTA, a direct broadcast satellite service offering popular digital satellite television programming to viewers in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories in the Caribbean.
DISH Network currently serves 2.8 million customers and is a trademark of EchoStar Communications Corporation. DISH Network is located on the Internet at www.dishnetwork.com.