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Hughes Completes Thai VSAT Network
Singapore - June 4, 1998 - Hughes Network Systems has completed the final phase of its contract with Acumen, a subsidiary of Jasmine International, to install more than 4,000 VSAT terminal. The system is now operational and is the world's largest satellite-based system dedicated to telephony services. Acumen, a Thailand-based company, owns and operates the network and is contracted to operate the rural-telephony system for Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT), the domestic telephony carrier in Thailand.

"A project on the scale of this needed an established leader in VSATs and HNS is that leader," said Somsak Padhana-anek, president of Acumen. "For more than 10 years, HNS has been a supplier to Acumen for satellite communication systems and they have demonstrated that they can uphold their commitments and provide working solutions for all our needs."

Acumen's network will be deployed to provide services in areas where the telecommunications infrastructure is either limited or nonexistent, the population density is low, and the geography is stark or challenging. The network for TOT consists of 4,000 remote stations and 21 gateway sites located in each of Thailand's provinces. By using multiple gateways, Acumen minimizes consumer costs by routing the call over the satellite to the nearest entry point into the public switching and trunking network (PSTN). TOT's network will be primarily employed to provide coin-operated pay phones and private lines in villages and small communities throughout Thailand.

"The successful completion of this project demonstrates the cost effectiveness of VSATs as a solution for telephony networks," stated Vinod Shukla, vice president and general manager, sales and marketing, Satellite Networks Division - International at HNS. "These VSATs are installed in rural areas where it is very difficult and expensive to implement terrestrial-based solutions. Using TES Quantum, Acumen can provide telephone services to people and places where little such service had previously existed. It is very exciting for us here at HNS to know that we can provide effective telecommunication solutions for thin-route rural applications."

TES Quantum networks are single-hop full-mesh systems where any VSAT can communicate directly with any other VSAT. Single satellite hops ensure fast call setups, excellent quality voice, and fast-response data connections. Furthermore, TES Quantum is able to make intelligent routing decisions based on traffic patterns using demand assigned, multiple access (DAMA) technology, where connections are established on a call-by-call basis to conserve satellite space segment. International standard 16 kbps LD-CELP voice encoding (ITU-T G.728) is used to further reduce space segment usage while providing the highest quality voice connections.

TES Quantum operates within the public telephony network using ITU-T R1, R2, or No.5, dual-tone multiple frequency (DTMF) and dial-pulse signaling. The TES Quantum Toll-Ready feature set includes automatic number identification, line testing, local emergency numbers, and pay-phone operation. DialWare software allows TES Quantum to connect to any numbering system in the world. Flexibility ranges from direct handset connections, to private branch exchanges, to gateway systems for an entire public calling office.

The full range of features available for PSTN applications means TES Quantum can provide advanced telephony services for private users as well.

A world leader in satellite products and network systems for more than 25 years, HNS has 65 percent of the global-VSAT market and has shipped nearly 200,000 terminals. Headquartered in Germantown, Md., near Washington, D.C., the company has sales and support offices worldwide. HNS offers communications network solutions incorporating a complete line of integrated satellite and enterprise networking products that includes VSATs, frame relay, and fixed and mobile wireless networks. HNS is a Hughes Electronics Corporation company and an ISO-90001-certified manufacturer. The earnings of Hughes Electronics are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to GMH (NYSE symbol) common stock.

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