Dish/Echostar Satellite Fleet Status (1 Viewer)

nelson61

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The recent "events" with Ciel 2 and Echostar 8 got me thinking about the reliability and backup strength of their satellite fleet, so I dug thru the back issues of their annual SEC filings and make up a little spreadsheet from information I found there.

I would appreciate any corrections or additions. Excel file attached.

Some Observations:

It sure looks like Echostar 1 and 3 are near end of life with Echostar 6 running at reduced capacity and 8 reaching end of life in the next 3-4 years.

Echostar 7,10, & 12 are limited to about 75 percent of normal capacity due to solar panal failures.

The new Quetzsat can replace 1, 6, and 8 at 77w

The new Echostar 16 can replace E3, E12, and E15 at 61.5w

Looks like E15 can be a "floating" spare for Conus coverage.

I'd guess Quetzsat will be their spot beam pitch hitter for all the spot beam satellites . It has the equivalent of 48 conus spots beams (L/R polarity) using the 24 US transponders.

There are no public announcements of new satellites contracts by Dish/Echostar (they might have a lease deal in progress with SES, etc.).

New satellites take about 2.5-3 years from contract to launch.
 

Attachments

  • echostar dish fleet status.xls
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rocatman

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Nov 28, 2003
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A couple of corrections. Although E-3 has had a lot of failures, Dish has recently applied to the FCC to move it to 68.5 W I believe to provide service in South America until a new satellite is built which will probably be a lease from SES. E-7 was design to provide all 32 CONUS TPs at 119 W but I don't know how many it can do now with the solar panel failures. E-8 is actually a hybrid satellite. It was the spotbeam satellite at 110 W until it was replaced by E-10 and it has been operating in CONUS mode since being deployed at 77 W. It was designed to have the capability to provide 32 CONUS TPs just like E-7. E-12 was designed so it could provide CONUS mode for 13 TPs at 61.5 W and this is how it was used by Voom before Dish bought them out. I don't know how many CONUS TPs it could provide now with its failures. E-14 is a hybrid satellite and is currently being used that way now at 119 W although it is only using 5 TPs for spotbeams. It has the capability to use 10 TPs for spotbeams which is expected after the WA conversion to 8PSK. Based on the recent FCC filings, E-16 could probably do it all for Dish at 61.5 W or at least with just E-12 providing some CONUS TP help which would free up E-15 to back up elsewhere and I believe it was designed to do just that. I do expect Dish to keep E-15 at 61.5 W. If you ignore EA vs. WA, Dish does have a lot of spotbeam backup between E-10, E-12 and E-14, Ciel-2 and this will increase when E-16 is deployed. In regards to the future, don't forget the satellite assets including new satellites coming down the pike from the Hughes acquisition. I don't know all of what Hughes has or is having built and I know a great deal of this is designed for broadband but the integration of Hughes into Dish hasn't really started.
 

mike123abc

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Once the new sats are up, E7 and E8 could cover a lot of 129's job if 129 failed. They each have 5 TPs for spots that complement each other (they used to be 119/110, one does 1-9 odd spot and the other does 2-10 even). They could both run all their spots and split the CONUS load. It would not be pretty since a lot of markets would not be covered, but they could keep the big markets with the most people on WA and convert others to EA for LiL.
 

TheKrell

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Curious turn of phrase. I would guess it means spot beams shining somewhere within conus, to differentiate them from spot beams pointed elsewhere, such as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or other nations such as Mexico.
 

Bobby

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A beam that covers only the us and not Canada or Mexico! There is no limit to how big or small a spot beam can be!

Sent from my iPhone using SatelliteGuys

A simple way to define this is that CONUS stands for CONtinental United States....
 

rdavidowski

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Hi

The term CONUS, as Bobby said, stands for Continental United States but even though the continental US stands for the lower 48 states. The CONUS beams in the case of Dish Network also cover the states of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands; with the last two being in the carribean.
 

rocatman

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I believe what nelson61 meant when he used the term "CONUS spotbeam" is that the design of the QuetzSat-1 satellite at the 77 W Mexican DBS slot is limited in the U.S. because of its close proximity to the Canadian 82 W DBS slot and the possibility of interference. Therefore based on the FCC filings, the QuetzSat-1 satellite will probably not be able to be used for national programming for the Eastern Arc so the QuetzSat-1 satellite will only be able to be used for locals. QuetzSat-1 is not designed with traditional multiple re-use of TP frequencies like a traditional spotbeam satellite - it only has dual re-use of TP frequencies from its left/right polarity (L/R) design for each of the 24 TP frequencies that can be used in the U.S. Prior to the QuetzSat-1 FCC filing, many folks were thinking that this satellite would be a large traditional spotbeam satellite because of this interference issue but obviously a traditional spotbeam satellite cost a great deal more than a regular CONUS satellite due to its complexity and the fact that this is not a wholly owned Dish satellite may had something to do with it.
 

tikli

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Nov 17, 2011
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hi

Hello,

I am new to this industry and am trying to understand this industry. Could anyone help me understand how do these satellite operators like Echostar operate? What is the capacity on one satellite? How much does it cost to lease one transponder etc.

Appreciate any help any one can provide.

Cheers,
J
 

navychop

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You might want to start a new thread on those questions.

Different satellites have different capabilities. Some broadcast nationwide, some just do spot beams to various areas (efficient reuse of frequencies), some do both. Transponder lease costs vary.
 

harshness

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I am new to this industry and am trying to understand this industry. Could anyone help me understand how do these satellite operators like Echostar operate? What is the capacity on one satellite? How much does it cost to lease one transponder etc.
You need to familiarize yourself with a service known as Google. Google can be your friend if you let it.

Check out Gunter's Space Page for an overview of a whole lot of satellites.
 

DishSubLA

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I believe what nelson61 meant when he used the term "CONUS spotbeam" is that the design of the QuetzSat-1 satellite at the 77 W Mexican DBS slot is limited in the U.S. because of its close proximity to the Canadian 82 W DBS slot and the possibility of interference. Therefore based on the FCC filings, the QuetzSat-1 satellite will probably not be able to be used for national programming for the Eastern Arc so the QuetzSat-1 satellite will only be able to be used for locals. QuetzSat-1 is not designed with traditional multiple re-use of TP frequencies like a traditional spotbeam satellite - it only has dual re-use of TP frequencies from its left/right polarity (L/R) design for each of the 24 TP frequencies that can be used in the U.S. Prior to the QuetzSat-1 FCC filing, many folks were thinking that this satellite would be a large traditional spotbeam satellite because of this interference issue but obviously a traditional spotbeam satellite cost a great deal more than a regular CONUS satellite due to its complexity and the fact that this is not a wholly owned Dish satellite may had something to do with it.

While Ergan is Cheap, he is NEVER cheap on satellites. I believe the QuetzSat limitations that were discussed and on record at the FCC were all technical, not financial. Dish/Echo have long term lease agreements, but QuestzSat is at Mexican slot and a one designed primarily for service in Mexico with US service secondary, so there may have been some Mexican legal limitations due to that as well.
 

DishSubLA

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"If I were building Dish Network today, I wouldn't be investing in satellites." That was among the latest quotes of our dear Charlie a few months ago trying to "explain" his foray into Blockbuster and wireless spectrum. He is building a massive data center, according to Scott, as he has seen it himself. Considering Dish has abandoned "Tweener" sats it was so feverishly fighting for (that Spectrum 5 held among other tweener slots Dish thought it wanted), that quote says a lot.

Dish is pushing Internationals onto IPTV and currently has DishWorldIPTV in operation. 118.7 is likely the LAST EVER sat for Dish Internationals. So, one sat down. Ergan is also trying to build an Over The Top (OTT) service much like Dish Network, but via the internet (might be IPTV), and the plan is to NOT have expensive sports services for the OTT service.

The sats in use by Dish now (some owned by Dish, others by Echostar) are pretty young, along with some fresh ones on the way. We are not likely to see more than perhaps ONE COMPLETE sat failure. However, be aware that NOT every drop of bandwidth is in use on every sat, necessarily. They do have some back-up reserved on currently operation sats so that if they suffer one or multiple TRANSPONDER failures, they can move those channels to the other sats.

Also, trouble with sats such as you researched regarding Dish are NOT uncommon among other sats in use by other companies. DirecTV has its own history of failures or anomalies as do the Cable Neighborhood sats, but due to on board back-up and other clever tricks, they all keep servicing well enough, although a replacement may have to be ordered if an in orbit spare is inadequate. But in most cases, they limp along for a few years until the replacement is launched. Also, replacements are built BEFORE the 15 year life of the operating sat, often launched by the 10th year of service. So, they do try to stay ahead of the curve.

Dish is in a much better position than it was a few years ago when the constellation of sats were stretched to the limit. I wouldn't worry about failures at this point, and look for more content delivered via internet, not satellite, although sat does have some advantages, it has been clear for some years that Dish's long term plans are to most likely use the slots they own only, but that is still years down the road as encoding improves and Dish OTT from the massive data center becomes more common. They won't be leasing the next gen of sat or slots. Again, for Dish to have abandoned its plans for "Tweener" sats seems to indicate less dependency on large numbers of sats (as today's constellation is) in the fututre.
 
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mike123abc

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Rainbow DBS demonstrated that building a satellite fleet at this time is probably not going to work. I do not see a third DBS company being able to be built. There is just too much competition. DIRECTV and Dish were built when cable had 40 analog channels in most of the country with really sketchy service. This is just not the case any more.

The DBS industry is now mature. There really is just not much to talk about any more. 10 years ago it was always a new channel coming, or upgrade to the service in some way (like HD). Then there was the whole LiL roll out and it was always another market getting locals. Now it is reduced to just a new receiver box coming out every few years...
 

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