Gabon Telecom Selects Hughes Network Systems Satellite Technology to Connect Gabon Railway System

Wednesday October 8 2003

Train Stations in Gabon Will Have Improved Security and Monitoring Capabilities Through Satellite Telephony Network

Hughes Network Systems, Inc. (HNS), the world's leading provider of broadband satellite solutions, today announced it has signed a contract to provide a satellite telephony network for Gabon Telecom to connect all the railway stations in Gabon (Transgabonais Network), including the central train station in Libreville.

Gabon Telecom selected HNS to supply and install a complete satellite solution, replacing an existing terrestrial wireless network that was unable to reliably connect and service the entire rail system. HNS is providing Gabon Telecom with a TES(TM) system including a hub earth station, as well as C-band remote terminals. The new satellite network will provide railway workers with increased security and monitoring capabilities, as well as improved emergency calling abilities.

"We have been successfully operating an HNS TES network throughout rural Gabon for the past 10 years and have been very satisfied with the performance and service. When it came time to replace the railroad's telephony network, we turned again to HNS for the satellite solution," said Brice Ponga, Director of Operations at Gabon Telecom.

"Reliable and secure transportation is essential for economic growth in Gabon and throughout West Africa," said Soheil Mehrabanzad, regional director for the Middle East/Africa at Hughes Network Systems. "HNS' satellite solutions are ideally suited for communicating between locations within a countrywide transportation system, such as the rail system in Gabon, because they are flexible, reliable, cost effective and can be rapidly deployed even in the most remote areas."

Installation of the railway project is underway and will be completed in October 2003.

About Gabon Telecom
Gabon Telecom is the Gabonese Republic's largest telecommunications carrier, established as a private company following the restructuring of the country's telecommunications sector. The company has been operating in a competitive environment since the liberalization of the Gabonese data transmission market and a portion of its GSM market. Gabon Telecom owns an IP network, which is currently connected to the global Internet backbone by an 8- Mbps satellite link.
The Gabon Telecom group includes a basic voice services provider, as well as a mobile service subsidiary called Libertis, which operates a nationwide GSM network servicing over 200,000 customers; 50% of Gabon's cellular market.

Through its participation in the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE consortium, Gabon Telecom also plans to transform Gabon into a major Central African transmission hub by providing transmit facilities and backbone connectivity to neighboring countries. To this end, Gabon Telecom is deploying an ATM network in the nation's capital, Liberville, which will later evolve into an MPLS backbone. In 2003 and 2004, similar networks will be built in major Gabonese cities located in the country's interior.

In addition, Gabon Telecom is implementing a far-reaching rural telephony/IP program aimed at setting up telecenters to support educational and community health programs.

About Hughes Network Systems
Hughes Network Systems, Inc. (HNS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hughes Electronics Corporation (HUGHES), is the world's leading provider of broadband satellite network solutions for businesses and consumers, with more than 600,000 systems ordered or shipped to customers in 85 countries. HNS pioneered the development of high-speed satellite Internet access services, which it markets globally under the DIRECWAY® brand, and is a major supplier of mobile satellite networks, including GSM-enabled portable handsets and Internet devices. In addition, HNS is a leading manufacturer of DIRECTV® satellite television receivers, having shipped more than 12 million to date.
Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, HNS maintains sales and support offices worldwide. The earnings of HUGHES, a unit of General Motors Corporation, are used to calculate the earnings attributable to the General Motors Class H common stock (NYSE: GMH - News). To learn more about HNS, please visit
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