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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C.  20549
 
Form 10-K 
(Mark One) 
ý      ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017
OR
 
o         TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM                 TO                 .
 
Commission file number: 001-33807
 
EchoStar Corporation
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter) 
Nevada
 
26-1232727
(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
 
 
100 Inverness Terrace East, Englewood, Colorado
 
80112-5308
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
 
(Zip Code)
 
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (303) 706-4000
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: 
Title of each class
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A common stock, $0.001 par value
 
The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes ý No o
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.  Yes o No ý
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes ý  No o
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).  Yes ý  No  o
 
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  o
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company.  See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.  (Check one):
Large accelerated filer x
 
Accelerated filer o
 
Non-accelerated filer o
 
Smaller reporting company o
 
Emerging growth company o
 
 
 
 
(Do not check if a smaller
reporting company)
 
 
 
 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes o No ý
 
As of June 30, 2017, the aggregate market value of Class A common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $2.86 billion based upon the closing price of the Class A common stock as reported on the Nasdaq Global Select Market as of the close of business on that date.
 
As of February 12, 2018, the registrant’s outstanding common stock consisted of 48,146,076 shares of Class A common stock and 47,687,039 shares of Class B common stock, each $0.001 par value.
 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
The following documents are incorporated into this Form 10-K by reference:
 
Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement to be filed in connection with its 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference in Part III.


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DISCLOSURE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Form 10-K”) contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including but not limited to statements about our estimates, expectations, plans, objectives, strategies, and financial condition, expected impact of regulatory developments and legal proceedings, opportunities in our industries and businesses and other trends and projections for the next fiscal quarter and beyond. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, may be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may also be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “seek,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “predict,” “continue,” “future,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “can,” “may” and similar terms.  These forward-looking statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this Form 10-K and represent management’s current views and assumptions.  Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, events or results and involve potential known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which may be beyond our control and may pose a risk to our operating and financial condition.  Accordingly, actual performance, events or results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements due to a number of factors including, but not limited to:
 
our reliance on DISH Network Corporation and its subsidiaries for a significant portion of our revenue;
significant risks related to the construction, launch and operation of our satellites, such as the risk of material malfunction on one or more of our satellites, risks resulting from delays or failures of launches of our satellites and potentially missing our regulatory milestones, changes in the space weather environment that could interfere with the operation of our satellites, and our general lack of commercial insurance coverage on our satellites;
our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of our current satellites and any future satellite we may construct or acquire;
our ability to implement and realize benefits of our domestic and/or international investments, commercial alliances, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions and other strategic initiatives;
the failure of third-party providers of components, manufacturing, installation services and customer support services to appropriately deliver the contracted goods or services;
our ability to bring advanced technologies to market to keep pace with our customers and competitors; and
risk related to our foreign operations and other uncertainties associated with doing business internationally, including changes in foreign exchange rates between foreign currencies and the United States dollar, economic instability and political disturbances.
 
Other factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in Part I, Item 1A. — Risk Factors and Item 7. — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations of this Form 10-K and those discussed in other documents we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).
 
All cautionary statements made herein should be read as being applicable to all forward-looking statements wherever they appear. Investors should consider the risks and uncertainties described herein and should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. We do not undertake, and specifically disclaim, any obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions that may be made to any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
 
Although we believe that the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, events, levels of activity, performance or achievements. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of any forward-looking statements. We assume no responsibility for updating forward-looking information contained or incorporated by reference herein or in any documents we file with the SEC, except as required by law.

Should one or more of the risks or uncertainties described herein or in any documents we file with the SEC occur, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results and plans could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements.

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PART I
 
Item 1.    BUSINESS
 
OVERVIEW
 
EchoStar Corporation (which, together with its subsidiaries, is referred to as “EchoStar,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” and/or “our”) is a holding company that was organized in October 2007 as a corporation under the laws of the State of Nevada. We are a global provider of satellite service operations, video delivery solutions, broadband satellite technologies and broadband internet services for home and small office customers. We also deliver innovative network technologies, managed services, and various communications solutions for aeronautical, enterprise and government customers. Our Class A common stock is publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the symbol “SATS.”

We currently operate in the following two business segments:
 
Hughes — which provides broadband satellite technologies and broadband internet services to domestic and international home and small office customers and broadband network technologies, managed services, equipment, hardware, satellite services and communication solutions to domestic and international consumers and aeronautical, enterprise and government customers. The Hughes segment also designs, provides and installs gateway and terminal equipment to customers for other satellite systems. In addition, our Hughes segment provides satellite ground segment systems and terminals to mobile system operators.
EchoStar Satellite Services (“ESS”) — which uses certain of our owned and leased in-orbit satellites and related licenses to provide satellite service operations and video delivery solutions on a full-time and occasional-use basis primarily to DISH Network Corporation and its subsidiaries (“DISH Network”), Dish Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V., a joint venture we entered into in 2008 (“Dish Mexico”), United States (“U.S.”) government service providers, internet service providers, broadcast news organizations, programmers, and private enterprise customers. ESS also manages satellite operations for certain satellites owned by DISH Network.
 
Our operations also include various corporate departments (primarily Executive, Strategic Development, Human Resources, IT, Finance, Real Estate and Legal) as well as other activities that have not been assigned to our operating segments, including costs incurred in certain satellite development programs and other business development activities, our centralized treasury operations, and gains (losses) from certain of our investments. These activities, costs and income are accounted for in “Corporate and Other.”
 
In 2008, DISH Network completed its distribution to us of its digital set-top box business, certain infrastructure, and other assets and related liabilities, including certain of its satellites, uplink and satellite transmission assets, and real estate (the “Spin-off”). Since the Spin-off, EchoStar and DISH Network have operated as separate publicly-traded companies. Prior to February 28, 2017, DISH Network held the Tracking Stock discussed below. A substantial majority of the voting power of the shares of each of EchoStar Corporation and DISH Network Corporation (“DISH”) is owned beneficially by Charles W. Ergen, our Chairman, and by certain trusts established by Mr. Ergen for the benefit of his family.

In February 2014, we entered into agreements with certain subsidiaries of DISH pursuant to which, effective March 1, 2014: (i) EchoStar and our subsidiary Hughes Satellite Systems Corporation (“HSS”) issued the Tracking Stock (as defined below) to subsidiaries of DISH in exchange for five satellites (EchoStar I, EchoStar VII, EchoStar X, EchoStar XI, and EchoStar XIV) (including the assumption of related in-orbit incentive obligations) and approximately $11.4 million in cash; and (ii) DISH and certain of its subsidiaries began receiving certain satellite services on these five satellites from us. The Tracking Stock tracked the economic performance of the residential retail satellite broadband business of our Hughes segment, including certain operations, assets and liabilities attributed to such business (collectively, the “Hughes Retail Group” or “HRG”), and represented an aggregate 80.0% economic interest in HRG (the Hughes Retail Preferred Tracking Stock issued by EchoStar Corporation (the “EchoStar Tracking Stock”) represented a 51.89% economic interest in HRG and the Hughes Retail Preferred Tracking Stock issued by HSS (the “HSS Tracking Stock”, together with the EchoStar Tracking Stock, the “Tracking Stock”) represented a 28.11% economic interest in HRG). In addition to the remaining 20.0% economic interest in HRG, EchoStar retained all economic interest in the wholesale satellite broadband business and other businesses of EchoStar.

On January 31, 2017, we and certain of our subsidiaries entered into a Share Exchange Agreement (the “Share Exchange Agreement”) with DISH and certain of its subsidiaries. Pursuant to the Share Exchange Agreement, on February 28, 2017, among other things, we and certain of our subsidiaries received all of the shares of the Tracking Stock in exchange for 100% of the equity interests of certain EchoStar subsidiaries that held substantially all of our EchoStar Technologies businesses and

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certain other assets (collectively, the “Share Exchange”). Our former EchoStar Technologies businesses designed, developed and distributed secure end-to-end video technology solutions including digital set-top boxes and related products and technology, primarily for satellite TV service providers and telecommunication companies and provided digital broadcast operations, including satellite uplinking/downlinking, transmission services, signal processing, conditional access management, and other services. Following consummation of the Share Exchange, we no longer operate the EchoStar Technologies businesses, the Tracking Stock was retired and is no longer outstanding and all agreements, arrangements and policy statements with respect to the Tracking Stock terminated and are of no further effect. As a result of the Share Exchange, the consolidated financial statements of the EchoStar Technologies businesses have been presented as discontinued operations and, as such, have been excluded from continuing operations and segment results for all periods presented. See Note 3 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report for further discussion of our discontinued operations.

As a result of the Share Exchange, in March 2017, we changed our overhead allocation methodology used in our segment disclosures to reflect how our chief operating decision maker evaluates our segments. Historically, the costs of all corporate functions were included on an allocated basis in each of the business segments’ EBITDA. Under the revised allocation methodology, these costs are now reported and analyzed as part of “Corporate and Other” (previously “All Other and Eliminations”). Our prior period segment EBITDA disclosures have been restated to reflect this change.

BUSINESS STRATEGIES
 
Capitalize on domestic and international demand for broadband services.  We intend to capitalize on the domestic and international demand for satellite-delivered broadband internet services and enterprise solutions by utilizing, among other things, our industry expertise, technology leadership, increased satellite capacity, access to spectrum resources, and high-quality, reliable service to drive growth in consumer subscribers and enterprise customers. We also intend to selectively explore opportunities to pursue investments, commercial alliances, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions and other strategic initiatives, domestically and internationally that we believe may allow us to increase our market share, expand into new markets, obtain new customers, broaden our portfolio of services, products and intellectual property and strengthen our relationships with our customers.
 
Expand satellite capacity and related infrastructure.  During 2017, we significantly increased our satellite capacity in North America and certain Central and South American countries and added capability for aeronautical, enterprise and international broadband internet services. We also commenced the design and construction of a new, next-generation, high throughput geostationary satellite, with a planned 2021 launch, that is primarily intended to provide additional capacity for our HughesNet service in North, Central and South America as well as aeronautical and enterprise services. We expect that our expertise in the identification, acquisition and development of satellite spectrum and orbital rights and satellite operations, together with our increased satellite capacity and existing, acquired or developed infrastructure, will provide opportunities to enter new international markets and enhance our services to our existing customers. We currently provide satellite broadband internet service in Brazil and Colombia and expect to launch similar services in other Central and South American countries in 2018.  We believe market opportunities exist that will facilitate the acquisition or leasing of additional satellite capacity which will enable us to provide services to a broader customer base, including providers of pay-TV services, satellite-delivered broadband, corporate communications, and government services.
 
Continue development of S-band and other hybrid spectrum resources.  Commercial service has been available to customers on our EchoStar XXI satellite since the fourth quarter of 2017, and we believe we remain in a unique position to deploy a European wide mobile satellite service (“MSS”)/complementary ground component (“CGC”) network and maximize the long-term value of our S-band spectrum, in Europe and other regions within the scope of our licenses.  We will also continue to explore development of S-band similar spectrum assets in additional international markets.
 
Develop improved and new technologies.  Our engineering capabilities provide us with the opportunity to develop and deploy cutting edge technologies, license our technologies to others, and maintain a leading technological position in the industries in which we are active. 

Continue to selectively explore new domestic and international strategic initiatives. We intend to continue to selectively explore opportunities to pursue investments, commercial alliances, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions and other strategic initiatives, domestically and internationally, that we believe may allow us to increase our existing market share, expand into new markets and new customers, broaden our portfolio of services, products and intellectual property, and strengthen our relationships with our customers. For example, our current agreement with WorldVu Satellites Limited (“OneWeb”), a global low-earth orbit (“LEO”) satellite service company, enables us to provide certain equipment and services in connection with the ground network system for OneWeb’s LEO satellites.

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BUSINESS SEGMENTS
 
HUGHES SEGMENT
 
Our Products and Services
 
Our Hughes segment is a global provider of broadband satellite technologies and broadband internet services to domestic and international home and small office customers and broadband network technologies, managed services, equipment, hardware, satellite services and communications solutions to domestic and international consumers and aeronautical, enterprise and government customers. The Hughes segment also designs, provides and installs gateway and terminal equipment to customers for other satellite systems. In addition, our Hughes segment provides satellite ground segment systems and terminals to mobile system operators.

We incorporate advances in technology to reduce costs and to increase the functionality and reliability of our products and services.  Through advanced and proprietary methodologies, technologies, software and techniques, we continue to improve the efficiency of our networks.  We invest in technologies to enhance our system and network management capabilities, specifically our managed services for enterprises.  We also continue to invest in next generation technologies that can be applied to our future products and services. 

We continue to focus our efforts on growing our consumer revenue by maximizing utilization of our existing satellites while planning for new satellites to be launched. Our consumer revenue growth depends on our success in adding new and retaining existing subscribers in our domestic and international markets across our wholesale and retail channels. The growth of our enterprise, including aeronautical, businesses relies heavily on global economic conditions and the competitive landscape for pricing relative to competitors and alternative technologies. Service costs related to ongoing support for our direct and indirect customers and partners are typically impacted most significantly by our growth.
 
Our Hughes segment currently uses capacity from our three satellites (the SPACEWAY 3 satellite, the EchoStar XVII satellite, and the EchoStar XIX satellite) and additional satellite capacity acquired from multiple third-party providers to provide services to our customers. Launched in December 2016, our EchoStar XIX satellite is a next-generation, high throughput geostationary satellite employing a multi-spot beam, bent pipe Ka-band architecture. It has provided and we expect it to continue to provide significant capacity for consumer subscriber growth, capacity for the Hughes broadband services to our customers in North America, capacity in certain Central and South American countries and capability for aeronautical and domestic and international enterprise broadband services.
 
We continue to expand our efforts to grow our consumer satellite services business outside of the U.S. In April 2014, we entered into a satellite services agreement pursuant to which Eutelsat do Brasil provides us Ka-band capacity into Brazil on the EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite for a 15-year term.  That satellite was launched in March 2016 and we began delivering high-speed consumer satellite broadband services in Brazil in July 2016. In September 2015, we entered into satellite services agreements pursuant to which affiliates of Telesat Canada (“Telesat”) will provide to us the Ka-band capacity on a satellite to be located at the 63 degree west longitude orbital location for a 15-year term. We expect the satellite to be launched in the second quarter of 2018 and to augment the capacity being provided by the EUTELSAT 65 West A and EchoStar XIX satellites in Central and South America. We launched our consumer satellite broadband service in Colombia in the third quarter of 2017 and we expect to launch similar services in various other Central and South American countries in 2018.

In August 2017, we entered into a contract for the design and construction of a new, next-generation, high throughput geostationary satellite, with a planned 2021 launch, that is primarily intended to provide additional capacity for our HughesNet service in North, Central and South America as well as aeronautical and enterprise services. Capital expenditures associated with the construction and launch of this satellite are included in “Corporate and Other” in our segment reporting.
 
Our Customers
 
Our Hughes segment delivers broadband internet services and broadband satellite technologies to domestic and international home and small office customers. It also delivers broadband network technologies, managed services, equipment, hardware, satellite services and communications solutions to domestic and international consumers and aeronautical, enterprise and government customers.  Examples of our enterprise, government and aeronautical customers include lottery agencies, gas station operators, aircraft connectivity providers and companies with multi-branch networks that rely on satellite or terrestrial networks for critical communication across wide geographies. Most of our enterprise customers have contracts with us for the services they purchase. In addition, our Hughes segment designs, provides and installs gateway and terminal equipment to

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customers for other satellite systems and provides satellite ground segment systems and terminals for other satellite systems, including mobile system operators.

In October 2012, we entered into a distribution agreement (the “Distribution Agreement”) with dishNET Satellite Broadband L.L.C. (“dishNET”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of DISH Network, pursuant to which dishNET marketed, sold and distributed our Hughes satellite internet service (the “Hughes service”) under the dishNET brand. In March 2017, we entered into a master service agreement (the “MSA”) with DISH Network L.L.C. (“DNLLC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of DISH pursuant to which DNLLC, among other things: (i) has the right, but not the obligation, to market, promote and solicit orders and upgrades for the Hughes satellite internet service and related equipment and other telecommunication services and (ii) will install Hughes service equipment with respect to activations generated by DNLLC. As a result of the MSA, we have not earned and do not expect to earn significant equipment revenue from our Distribution Agreement in the future. DISH Network accounted for 5.6%, 7.7% and 7.8% of our total Hughes segment revenue for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.  See Note 19 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report for further discussion of our related party transactions with DISH Network.

Developments toward the launch of next-generation satellite systems including low-earth orbit (“LEO”), medium-earth orbit (“MEO”) and geostationary systems could provide additional opportunities to drive the demand for our equipment, hardware, technology and services. We have an agreement with WorldVu Satellites Limited (“OneWeb”), a global LEO satellite service company, to provide certain equipment and services in connection with the ground network system for OneWeb’s LEO satellites. In November 2017, we began the production of OneWeb’s ground network system equipment and expect to begin delivering this equipment in the second half of 2018.
 
As of December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, our Hughes segment had approximately 1,208,000, 1,036,000 and 1,035,000 broadband subscribers, respectively.  These broadband subscribers include customers that subscribe to our HughesNet broadband services in the U.S. and South America through retail, wholesale and small/medium enterprise service channels. 
 
As of December 31, 2017 and 2016, our Hughes segment had approximately $1.62 billion and $1.52 billion, respectively, of contracted revenue backlog.  We define Hughes contracted revenue backlog as our expected future revenue under customer contracts that are non-cancelable, excluding agreements with customers in our consumer market. Of the total contracted revenue backlog as of December 31, 2017, we expect to recognize approximately $424.7 million of revenue in 2018.
 
Our Competition
 
The network communications industry is highly competitive.  As a global provider of network technologies, products and services, our Hughes segment competes with a large number of telecommunications service providers, which puts pressure on prices and margins.  To compete effectively, we emphasize our network quality, customization capability, offering of networks as a turnkey managed service, position as a single point of contact for products and services and competitive prices.
 
In our consumer markets, we compete against traditional telecommunications and wireless carriers, other satellite internet providers, as well as digital subscriber line (“DSL”), fiber and cable internet service providers offering competitive services in many markets we seek to serve.  Cost, speed and accessibility are key determining factors in the selection of a service provider by the consumer.  Our primary satellite competitor in our North American consumer market is ViaSat Communications, Inc. (“ViaSat Communications”), which is owned by ViaSat, Inc. (“ViaSat”).  We seek to differentiate ourselves based on the ubiquitous availability of our service, quality, proprietary technology, and distribution channels.
 
In our enterprise and government markets, we compete against providers of satellite-based and terrestrial-based networks, including fiber, DSL, cable modem service, multiprotocol label switching and interest protocol-based virtual private networks.

Our principal competitors for the supply of very-small-aperture terminal (“VSAT”) satellite networks are Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd, ViaSat, Newtec Cy N.V. and VT iDirect, Inc. (formerly known as iDirect Technologies, Inc.).  To differentiate ourselves from our competitors, we emphasize particular technological features of our products and services, our ability to customize networks and perform desired development work and the quality of our customer service.  We also face competition from resellers and numerous local companies who purchase equipment and sell services to local customers, including domestic and international telecommunications operators, cable companies and other major carriers.


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Manufacturing
 
Certain products in our Hughes segment are assembled at our facilities in Maryland and we outsource a significant portion of the manufacturing of our products to third parties.  We believe that the manufacturing facilities used by our Hughes segment have sufficient capacity to handle current demand.  We adjust our capacity based on our production requirements.  We also work with third-party vendors for the development and manufacture of components that are integrated into our products.  We develop dual sourcing capabilities for critical parts when practical and we evaluate outsourced subcontract vendors on a periodic basis.  Our operations group, together with our engineering group, works with our vendors and subcontractors to reduce development costs, to increase production efficiency, and to obtain components at lower prices.
 
ECHOSTAR SATELLITE SERVICES SEGMENT
 
Our Services
 
Our ESS segment is a global provider of satellite service operations and video delivery solutions. We operate our business using our owned and leased in-orbit satellites and related licenses. Revenue growth in our ESS segment depends largely on our ability to continuously make satellite capacity available for sale.  We provide satellite service operations and video delivery solutions on a full-time and occasional-use basis primarily to DISH Network, Dish Mexico, U.S. government service providers, internet service providers, broadcast news organizations, programmers, and private enterprise customers. We also manage satellite operations for certain satellites owned by DISH Network. Our satellite capacity is currently used by our customers for a variety of applications:
 
DTH Services.  We provide satellite capacity and satellite services to satellite TV providers, broadcasters and programmers who use our satellites to deliver programming.  Our satellites are also used for the transmission of live sporting events, internet access, disaster recovery, and satellite news gathering services.
 
Government Services.  We provide satellite and technical services to U.S. government service providers.  We believe the U.S. government may increase its use of commercial satellites for homeland security, emergency response, continuing education, distance learning, and training.
 
Network Services.  We provide satellite capacity and terrestrial network services to companies.  These networks are dedicated private networks that allow delivery of video and data services for corporate communications.  Our satellites can be used for point-to-point or point to multi-point communications.

We are pursuing expanding our business offerings by providing value added services such as telemetry, tracking, and control services to third parties, which leverage the ground monitoring networks and personnel currently within our ESS segment.

In August 2014, we entered into: (i) a contract with Airbus Defence and Space SAS for the construction of the EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite with C-, Ku- and Ka-band payloads; (ii) an agreement with SES Satellite Leasing Limited for the procurement of the related launch services; and (iii) an agreement with SES Americom Inc. (“SES”) pursuant to which we transferred the title to the payloads to two affiliates of SES. We retained the right to use the entire Ku-band payload on the satellite for an initial ten-year term, with an option for us to renew the agreement on a year-to-year basis. The EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite was launched in October 2017 and placed into service in November 2017 at the 105 degree west longitude orbital location. Our Ku-band payload on the EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite replaces and augments the capacity we had on the AMC-15 satellite, resulting in additional sales capacity. We transferred activities from the AMC-15 satellite to the EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Our Customers
 
We provide satellite capacity on our satellite fleet primarily to DISH Network, Dish Mexico, U.S. government service providers, internet service providers, broadcast news organizations, programmers and private enterprise customers.  For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, DISH Network accounted for approximately 87.9%, 85.7% and 86.3% of our total ESS segment revenue.  We have entered into certain commercial agreements with DISH Network pursuant to which we are obligated to provide DISH Network with satellite services at fixed prices for varying lengths of time depending on the satellite.  See Note 19 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report for further discussion of our related party transactions with DISH Network.  We depend on DISH Network for a significant portion of the revenue for our ESS segment, and we expect that DISH Network will continue to be the primary source of revenue for our ESS segment. Therefore, the results of operations of our ESS segment are linked to changes in DISH Network’s satellite capacity requirements. DISH Network’s capacity requirements have been driven by the addition of new channels and migration of

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programming to high-definition TV and video on demand services. The services that we provide to DISH Network are critical to its nationwide delivery of content to its customers across the U.S. While we expect to continue to provide satellite services to DISH Network, its satellite capacity requirements may change for a variety of reasons, including its ability to construct and launch its own satellites.  Any termination or reduction in the services we provide to DISH Network may cause us to have unused capacity on our satellites and require that we aggressively pursue alternative sources of revenue for this business. The agreement with DISH Network for satellite services relative to the EchoStar VII satellite expires in June 2018. DISH Network has not renewed the agreement past such date which may have a significant impact on our operating results in the future.

At each of December 31, 2017 and 2016, our ESS segment had contracted revenue backlog attributable to satellites currently in orbit of approximately $1.16 billion.  Of the total contracted revenue backlog as of December 31, 2017, we expect to recognize approximately $332.9 million of revenue in 2018.
 
Our Competition
 
In the fixed satellite services market, our ESS segment competes against larger, well-established satellite service companies, such as Intelsat S.A. (“Intelsat”), SES S.A., Inmarsat plc, Telesat, Eutelsat Communications S.A. (“Eutelsat”), Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited and the direct-to-home (DTH) satellite business of AT&T, Inc., in an industry that is characterized by long-term contracts and high costs for customers to change service providers.   Several of our competitors maintain key North American and other international orbital slots that may further limit competition and competitive pricing.
 
OTHER BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
 
Our industry continues to evolve with the increasing worldwide demand for broadband internet access for information, entertainment and commerce. In addition to fiber and wireless systems, other technologies such as geostationary high throughput satellites, LEO networks, balloons, and High Altitude Platform Systems are playing significant roles in enabling global broadband access, networks and services. We intend to use our expertise, technologies, capital, investments, global presence, relationships and other capabilities to continue to provide broadband internet systems, equipment, networks and services for information, entertainment and commerce in North America and internationally for consumers as well as aeronautical, enterprise and government customers.

We are tracking closely the developments in next-generation satellite businesses, and we are seeking to utilize our services, technologies and expertise to find new commercial opportunities for our business. Since June 2015 we have had an equity investment in OneWeb.

We intend to continue to selectively explore opportunities to pursue investments, commercial alliances, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions and other strategic initiatives, domestically and internationally, that we believe may allow us to increase our existing market share, expand into new markets and new customers, broaden our portfolio of services, products and intellectual property, and strengthen our relationships with our customers. We may allocate significant resources for long-term initiatives that may not have a short or medium-term or any positive impact on our revenue, results of operations, or cash flow.
 
In 2012, we acquired the right to use various frequencies at the 45 degree west longitude orbital location (“Brazilian Authorization”) from ANATEL, the Brazilian communications regulatory agency. The Brazilian Authorization currently provides us the rights to utilize Ku-band spectrum. In April 2014, we entered into an agreement with Space Systems Loral, LLC for the construction of the EchoStar XXIII satellite, a high powered broadcast satellite service satellite. The EchoStar XXIII satellite was launched in March 2017 and placed into service at the 45 degree west longitude orbital location in the second quarter of 2017. We had regulatory obligations to meet certain in-service milestones by the second quarter of 2017 for our Brazilian license at the 45 degree west longitude orbital location for the Ka-, Ku- and S-band frequencies. We have satisfied our regulatory obligations for the Ku-band frequency. On October 5, 2017, ANATEL declined our request to extend our milestone deadlines for the S- band and Ka- band frequencies and, as a result, we do not have the right to use such frequency bands in Brazil.  We may be subject to penalties as a result of our failure to meet these milestones.

In December 2013, we acquired 100% of Solaris Mobile, which is based in Dublin, Ireland and licensed by the European Union and its member states (“EU”) to provide MSS and CGC services covering the entire EU using S-band spectrum.  Solaris Mobile changed its name to EchoStar Mobile Limited (“EchoStar Mobile”) in the first quarter of 2015.  The EchoStar XXI satellite was launched in June 2017 and placed into service in November 2017. Commercial service has been available on our EchoStar XXI satellite since the fourth quarter of 2017. The EchoStar XXI satellite provides space segment capacity to EchoStar Mobile in the EU.  We believe we are in a unique position to deploy a European wide MSS/CGC network and maximize the long-term value of our S-band spectrum in Europe and other regions within the scope of our licenses.
 

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Capital expenditures associated with the construction and launch of the EchoStar XXI, EchoStar XXIII and EchoStar XXIV satellites are included in “Corporate and Other” in our segment reporting.

OUR SATELLITE FLEET
 
Our operating satellite fleet consists of both owned and leased satellites detailed in the table below as of December 31, 2017.
Satellites
 
Segment
 
Launch Date
 
Nominal Degree Orbital Location (Longitude)
 
Depreciable Life (In Years)
Owned:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SPACEWAY 3 (1)
 
Hughes
 
August 2007
 
95 W
 
12
EchoStar XVII
 
Hughes
 
July 2012
 
107 W
 
15
EchoStar XIX
 
Hughes
 
December 2016
 
97.1 W
 
15
EchoStar I (2)(3)(4)(7)
 
ESS
 
December 1995
 
77 W
 
EchoStar VI (4)(7)
 
ESS
 
July 2000
 
96.2 W
 
12
EchoStar VII (2)(3)(4)
 
ESS
 
February 2002
 
119 W
 
3
EchoStar IX (2)(4)
 
ESS
 
August 2003
 
121 W
 
12
EchoStar X (2)(3)
 
ESS
 
February 2006
 
110 W
 
7
EchoStar XI (2)(3)
 
ESS
 
July 2008
 
110 W
 
9
EchoStar XII (2)(4)(5)
 
ESS
 
July 2003
 
61.5 W
 
2
EchoStar XIV (2)(3)
 
ESS
 
March 2010
 
119 W
 
11
EchoStar XVI (2)
 
ESS
 
November 2012
 
61.5 W
 
15
EchoStar XXI
 
Corporate and Other
 
June 2017
 
10.25 E
 
15
EchoStar XXIII
 
Corporate and Other
 
March 2017
 
45 W
 
15
EUTELSAT 10A (“W2A”) (6)
 
Corporate and Other
 
April 2009
 
10 E
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Capital Leases:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimiq 5 (2)
 
ESS
 
September 2009
 
72.7 W
 
15
QuetzSat-1 (2)
 
ESS
 
September 2011
 
77 W
 
10
Eutelsat 65 West A
 
Hughes
 
March 2016
 
65 W
 
15
EchoStar 105/SES-11
 
ESS
 
October 2017
 
105 W
 
15
(1)    Depreciable life represents the remaining useful life as of June 8, 2011, the date EchoStar completed its acquisition of Hughes Communications, Inc. and its subsidiaries.
(2)
See Note 19 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report for discussion of related party transactions with DISH Network.
(3)    Depreciable life represents the remaining useful life as of March 1, 2014, the effective date of our receipt of the satellites from DISH Network as part of the Satellite and Tracking Stock Transaction (See Note 19 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report).
(4)    Fully depreciated assets as of December 31, 2017.
(5)    Depreciable life represents the remaining useful life as of June 30, 2013, the date the EchoStar XII satellite was impaired.
(6)    The Company acquired the S-band payload on this satellite, which prior to the acquisition in December 2013, experienced an anomaly at the time of the launch. As a result, the S-band payload is not fully operational.
(7)    The EchoStar I satellite was retired in January 2018 and the EchoStar VI satellite is expected to be retired in the second quarter of 2018.
 
Construction in progress included the following owned and leased satellites under construction as of December 31, 2017.
Satellites
 
Segment
 
Expected Launch Date
Telesat T19V (“63 West”) (1) 
 
Hughes
 
Second quarter of 2018
EchoStar XXIV
 
Corporate and Other
 
2021
(1)    We entered into an agreement for certain capacity on this satellite once launched, but are not party to the construction contract.


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Recent Developments
 
EchoStar I. The EchoStar I satellite was removed from its orbital location and retired from commercial service in January 2018. This retirement is not expected to have a material impact on our results of operations or financial position.

EchoStar VI. We expect to remove the EchoStar VI satellite from its orbital location and retire it from commercial service in the second quarter of 2018. This retirement is not expected to have a material impact on our results of operations or financial position.

EchoStar 105/SES-11 and AMC-15. The EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite was launched in October 2017 and was placed into service in November 2017 at the 105 degree west longitude orbital location. Our leased Ku-band payload on the EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite has replaced the capacity we had on the AMC-15 satellite. Our agreement for satellite services on certain transponders on the AMC-15 satellite terminated according to its terms in December 2017.

EchoStar XXI. The EchoStar XXI satellite was launched in June 2017 and was placed into service in November 2017 at the 10.25 degree east longitude orbital location. The EchoStar XXI satellite provides space segment capacity to EchoStar Mobile Limited in Europe.

EchoStar III. In July 2017, the EchoStar III satellite experienced an anomaly that caused communications with the satellite to be interrupted resulting in a loss of control.  We regained communications with and control of the EchoStar III satellite and retired the satellite from commercial service in August 2017. This retirement has not had, and is not expected to have, a material impact on our results of operations or financial position.

EchoStar VIII. During the second quarter of 2017, the EchoStar VIII satellite was removed from its orbital location and retired from commercial service. This retirement has not had, and is not expected to have, a material impact on our results of operations or financial position.

EchoStar XXIII. The EchoStar XXIII satellite, a Ku-band broadcast satellite services satellite, was launched in March 2017 and placed into service at the 45 degree west longitude orbital location in May 2017. 

EchoStar XIX. The EchoStar XIX satellite was launched in December 2016 and placed into service in March 2017 at the 97.1 degree west longitude orbital location. The EchoStar XIX satellite provides capacity for the Hughes broadband services to our customers in North America, capacity in certain Central and South American countries and capability for aeronautical, enterprise and international broadband services. EchoStar contributed the EchoStar XIX satellite to its Hughes segment in February 2017.

Satellite Anomalies and Impairments
 
Our satellites may experience anomalies from time to time, some of which may have a significant adverse effect on their remaining useful lives, the commercial operation of the satellites or our operating results or financial position. We are not aware of any anomalies with respect to our owned or leased satellites that have had any such significant adverse effect during the year ended December 31, 2017There can be no assurance, however, that anomalies will not have any such adverse impacts in the future. In addition, there can be no assurance that we can recover critical transmission capacity in the event one or more of our in-orbit satellites were to fail.
 
EchoStar X experienced anomalies in the past which affected seven solar array circuits. In December 2017, EchoStar X experienced anomalies which affected one additional solar array circuit reducing the number of functional solar array circuits to 16. While these anomalies did not significantly impact commercial operation or remaining useful life of the satellite or our operating results or financial position for the year ended December 31, 2017, we do expect a loss of future revenue on this satellite as a result of such anomalies.

We historically have not carried in-orbit insurance on our satellites because we assessed that the cost of insurance was uneconomical relative to the risk of failures. Therefore, we generally bear the risk of any in-orbit failures. Pursuant to the terms of the agreements governing certain portions of our indebtedness, we are required, subject to certain limitations on coverage, to maintain in-orbit insurance for our SPACEWAY 3, EchoStar XVI, and EchoStar XVII satellites. Based on economic analysis of the current insurance market we obtained launch plus one year in-orbit insurance, subject to certain limitations, for the EchoStar XIX, EchoStar XXI and EchoStar XXIII satellites. Additionally, we obtained certain launch and in-orbit insurance for our interest in the EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite. Our other satellites, either in orbit or under

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construction, are not covered by launch or in-orbit insurance. We will continue to assess circumstances going forward and make insurance decisions on a case by case basis.

We evaluate our satellites for impairment and test for recoverability whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that their carrying amount may not be recoverable. Certain of the anomalies previously disclosed may be considered to represent a significant adverse change in the physical condition of a particular satellite. However, based on the redundancy designed within each satellite, certain of these anomalies are not necessarily considered to be significant events that would require a test of recoverability.

GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS
 
We are subject to comprehensive regulation by the FCC for our domestic, as well as various international, satellite and telecommunications operations and equipment businesses.  We are also regulated by other U.S. federal agencies, state and local authorities, the International Telecommunication Union (“ITU”), and certain foreign governments, including those in the EU and North, South and Central American countries.  In addition, we are also subject to the export control laws and regulations and trade sanctions laws and regulations of the U.S. and other countries with respect to the export of telecommunications equipment and services.  Depending upon the circumstances, noncompliance with applicable legislation or regulations could result in suspension or revocation of our licenses or authorizations, the termination or loss of contracts or the imposition of contractual damages, civil fines or criminal penalties.
 
The following summary of regulations and legislation is not intended to describe all present and proposed government regulation and legislation affecting our business.  Government regulations that are currently the subject of judicial or administrative proceedings, draft legislation or administrative proposals could impact us and our industries to varying degrees.  The FCC and other regulators from time to time initiate proceedings that could adversely impact our satellite operations, including spectrum usage.  We cannot predict either the outcome of these proceedings or proposals or any potential impact they might have on the industry or on our operations.
 
FCC Regulations Applicable to Our Operations
 
FCC Jurisdiction over Satellite and Terrestrial Operations.  Non-governmental, including commercial entities, that use radio frequencies to provide communications services to, from or within the U.S. are subject to the jurisdiction of the FCC under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Communications Act”).  The Communications Act gives the FCC regulatory jurisdiction over many areas relating to communications operations, including:
 
the assignment of satellite radio frequencies and orbital locations to specific services and companies, the licensing of satellites and earth stations, and the granting of related authorizations;
approval for the relocation of satellites to different orbital locations, the replacement of a satellite with another new or existing satellite, and the authorization of specific earth stations to communicate with such newly relocated satellites;
ensuring compliance with the terms and conditions of assignments, licenses, authorizations, and approvals;
avoiding harmful interference with other radio frequency emitters; and
ensuring compliance with other applicable provisions of the Communications Act and FCC rules and regulations.

All satellite licenses issued by the FCC are subject to expiration unless extended by the FCC.  The term of each of our U.S. direct broadcast satellite (“DBS”) licenses is 10 years, and our U.S. fixed satellite services (“FSS”) licenses generally have 15 year terms.  We hold licenses and authorizations for satellite and earth stations as well as other services, including terrestrial wireless services.  To obtain and operate under such FCC licenses and authorizations, we must satisfy legal, technical qualification requirements and other conditions including, among other things, satisfaction of certain technical and ongoing due diligence obligations, implementation bonds, annual regulatory fees and various reporting requirements. A license must be obtained prior to launching or operating a satellite.

Telecommunications Regulation.   Many of the services we provide are also subject to FCC regulation as telecommunications services.  For certain services in the U.S., we are required to contribute fees, computed as a percentage of our revenue from telecommunications services to the Universal Service Fund (“USF”) to support mechanisms that subsidize the provision of services to low-income consumers, high-cost areas, schools, libraries, and rural health care providers.  Current FCC rules permit us to pass this USF contribution through to our customers.  The FCC also requires broadband internet access and internet telephony service providers to comply with the requirements of the Federal Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (“CALEA”).  CALEA generally requires telecommunications carriers to ensure that law enforcement agencies are able to conduct l

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awfully-authorized surveillance of users of their services.  In addition, as a provider of interconnected voice over internet protocol services (“VOIP”), we are required to abide by a number of rules related to telephony service, including rules dealing with the protection of customer information and the processing of emergency calls.
 
State and Local Regulation
 
We are also regulated by state and local authorities.  While the FCC has preempted many state and local regulations that would impair the installation and use of VSATs and other consumer satellite dishes, our businesses nonetheless are subject to state and local regulation, including, among others, obtaining regulatory authorizations and zoning regulations that affect the ability to install these consumer satellite earth station antennas.
 
International Regulation
 
Foreign Administrations’ Jurisdiction Over Satellite and Terrestrial Operations.  Some of our satellites and earth stations are licensed in foreign jurisdictions.  We also have terrestrial authorizations in foreign jurisdictions.  In order to provide service to a foreign location from a U.S. satellite, we are required to obtain approvals from the FCC and foreign administrative agencies.  The laws and regulations addressing access to satellite and terrestrial systems vary from country to country.  In most countries, a license is required to provide our services and to operate satellite earth stations.  Such licenses may impose certain conditions, including implementation and operation of the satellite system in a manner consistent with certain milestones (such as for contracting, satellite design, construction, launch, and implementation of service), that the satellite or its launch be procured through a national entity, that the satellite control center be located in national territory, that a license be obtained prior to launching or operating the satellite, or that a license be obtained before interconnecting with the local switched telephone network.  Some countries may have restrictions on the services we provide and how we provide them.  In addition, certain countries may limit the rates that can be charged for the services we provide or impose other service terms or restrictions. Furthermore, foreign countries in which we currently, or may in the future, operate may not authorize us access to all of the spectrum that we need to provide service in a particular country.
 
The ITU Frequency and Orbital Location Registration.  The orbital location and frequencies for our satellites are subject to the frequency registration and coordination process of the ITU.  The ITU Radio Regulations define the international rules, regulations, and rights for a satellite and associated earth stations to use specific radio frequencies at a specific orbital location.  These rules, which include deadlines for the bringing of satellite networks into use, differ depending on the type of service to be provided and the frequencies to be used by the satellite.  On our behalf, various countries have made, and may in the future make, additional filings for the frequency assignments at particular orbital locations that are used or to be used by our current satellite networks and potential future satellite networks we may build or acquire.  In the event the international coordination process that is triggered by ITU filings under applicable rules is not successfully completed, or that the requests for modification of the broadcast satellite service (“BSS”) plan regarding the allocation of orbital locations and frequencies are not granted by the ITU, we will have to operate the applicable satellite(s) on a non-interference basis, which could have an adverse impact on our business operations.  If we cannot do so, we may have to cease operating such satellite(s) at the affected orbital locations.  We cannot be sure of the successful outcome of these ITU coordination processes.  We make commercially reasonable efforts to cooperate with the filing nation in the preparation of ITU filings, coordination of our operations in accordance with the relevant ITU Radio Regulations, and responses to relevant ITU inquiries.

Registration in the UN Registry of Space Objects.  The U.S. and other jurisdictions in which we license satellites are generally parties to the United Nations (“UN”) Convention on the Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (“UN Convention”).  The UN Convention requires a satellite’s launching state to register the satellite as a space object.  The act of registration carries liability for the registering country in the event that the satellite causes third party damage.  Administrations may place certain requirements on satellite licensees in order to procure the necessary launch or operational authorizations that accompany registration of the satellite.  In some jurisdictions, these authorizations are separate and distinct, with unique requirements, from the authorization to use a set of frequencies to provide satellite services.
 
Telecommunications Regulation.  Many of the services we provide are also subject to the regulation of other countries as telecommunications services.  For certain services, we may be required to contribute fees to a universal service or other fund to support mechanisms that subsidize the provision of services to designated groups.  Many countries also impose requirements on telecommunications carriers to ensure that law enforcement agencies are able to conduct lawfully-authorized surveillance of users of their services.  In addition, we are subject to a number of other rules, including rules related to telephony service such as the protection of customer information and processing of emergency calls.
 

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Export Control Regulation
 
In the operation of our business, we must comply with all applicable export control and trade sanctions laws and regulations of the U.S. and other countries.  Applicable U.S. laws and regulations include the Arms Export Control Act, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”), the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), and the trade sanctions laws and regulations administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”).
 
The export of certain hardware, technical data, and services relating to satellites and the supply of certain ground control equipment, technical data and services to non-U.S. persons or to destinations outside the U.S. is regulated by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) under the EAR.  In addition, BIS regulates our export of satellite communications network equipment to non-U.S. persons or to destinations outside of the U.S.  The export of other items is regulated by the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”) under the ITAR and are subject to strict export control and prior approval requirements.  In addition, we cannot provide certain equipment or services to certain countries subject to U.S. trade sanctions unless we first obtain the necessary authorizations from OFAC.  We are also subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other similar foreign regulations, which generally prohibits companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments or giving or promising to give anything of value to foreign government officials and other individuals for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or gaining a competitive advantage.
 
Environmental Regulation
 
We are subject to the requirements of federal, state, local, and foreign environmental and occupational safety and health laws and regulations.  These include laws regulating air emissions, waste-water discharge and waste management, most significantly the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (“EPCRA”).  Under the RCRA, our Hughes segment is considered a small quantity generator.
 
As required by the EPCRA, we file annual reports with regulatory agencies covering four areas: Emergency Planning, Emergency Release, Hazardous Chemical Storage, and Toxic Chemical Release Inventory.  We maintain small quantities of hazardous materials on our premises and, therefore, have relatively modest reporting requirements under the EPCRA.  We are also subject to the requirements of other environmental and occupational safety and health laws and regulations.  Additionally, we review SARA Title III regulatory requirements and annually report quantities of onsite material storage using Tier II, state DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) reporting systems.
 
Our environmental compliance costs, capital and other expenditures to date have not been material, and we do not expect them to be material in 2018However, environmental requirements are complex, change frequently, and have become more stringent over time.  Accordingly, we cannot provide assurance that these requirements will not change or become more stringent in the future in a manner that could have a material adverse effect on our business and/or environmental compliance costs, capital or other expenditures.
 
PATENTS AND TRADEMARKS
 
We currently rely on a combination of patent, trade secret, copyright and trademark law, together with licenses, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements and technical measures, to establish and protect proprietary rights in our products.  We hold U.S. and foreign patents covering various aspects of our products and services.  The duration of each of our U.S. patents is generally 20 years from the earliest filing date to which the patent has priority.  We have granted licenses to use our trademarks and service-marks to affiliates and resellers worldwide, and we typically retain the right to monitor the use of those marks and impose significant restrictions on their use in efforts to ensure a consistent brand identity.  We protect our proprietary rights in our software through software licenses that, among other things, require that the software source code be maintained as confidential information and that prohibit any reverse-engineering of that code.
 
We believe that our patents are important to our business.  We also believe that, in some areas, the improvement of existing products and the development of new products, as well as reliance upon trade secrets and unpatented proprietary know-how, are important in establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage.  We believe, to a certain extent, that the value of our products and services are dependent upon our proprietary software, hardware, and other technology remaining trade secrets and/or subject to copyright protection.  Generally, we enter into non-disclosure and invention assignment agreements with our employees, subcontractors, and certain customers and other business partners.  Please see Item 3. — Legal Proceedings of this report for more information.
 

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RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND ENGINEERING
 
We have a skilled and multi-disciplined engineering organization that develops our products and services.  Our in-house technological capability includes a wide range of skills required to develop systems, hardware, software, and firmware used in our products and services. 
 
With respect to hardware development, we have skill sets that include complex digital designs, radio frequency and intermediate frequency analog designs, advanced application-specific integrated circuit designs, and sophisticated consumer and system level packaging designs.  We also have extensive experience in developing products for high-volume, low-cost manufacturing for the consumer industry, including dual mode satellite and wireless handsets.
 
As a complement to our hardware development, we have extensive experience in designing reliable, real time, embedded software systems as part of our communication systems and services offerings.  For example, our broadband product line for the enterprise market supports an extensive range of protocols for data communications.  Our engineers have also developed many large turnkey systems for our customers by designing the overall solution, implementing the various subsystems, deploying the entire network and user terminals, integrating and verifying the operational system, and ultimately training the customers’ technicians and operators.
 
Costs incurred in research and development activities generally are expensed as incurred. A significant portion of our research and development costs are incurred in connection with the specific requirements of a customer’s order. In such instances, the amounts for these customer funded development efforts are included in cost of sales. Cost of sales includes research and development costs incurred in connection with customers’ orders of approximately $27.9 million, $23.7 million and $19.6 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.  In addition, we incurred other research and development expenses of approximately $31.7 million, $31.2 million and $26.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.

GEOGRAPHIC AREA DATA AND TRANSACTIONS WITH MAJOR CUSTOMERS
 
For principal geographic area data and transactions with major customers for 2017, 2016 and 2015, see Note 17 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report.  See Item 1A. — Risk Factors for information regarding risks related to our foreign operations.
 
EMPLOYEES
 
As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately 2,100 employees and generally consider relations with them to be good.  Other than approximately 170 of our employees located in Italy and Brazil, none are represented by a union.
 
WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION
 
We are subject to the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and accordingly file an annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements, and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  The public may read and copy any materials filed with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20549.  Please call the SEC at (800) SEC-0330 for further information on the operation of the Public Reference Room.  As an electronic filer, our public filings are also maintained on the SEC’s internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.  The address of that website is http://www.sec.gov.
 
WEBSITE ACCESS
 
Our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, may also be accessed free of charge through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we have electronically filed such material with, or furnished it to, the SEC.  The address of that website is http://www.echostar.com.
 
We have adopted a written code of ethics that applies to all of our directors, officers, and employees, including our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer and controller, in accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the rules of the SEC promulgated thereunder.  Our code of ethics is available on our corporate website at http://www.echostar.com.  In the event that we make changes in, or provide waivers of, the provisions of this code of ethics that the SEC requires us to disclose, we intend to disclose these events on our website.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT
(furnished in accordance with Item 401(b) of Regulation S-K, pursuant to General Instruction G(3) of Form 10-K)
 
The following table and information below sets forth the name, age and position with EchoStar of each of our executive officers, the period during which each executive officer has served as such, and each executive officer’s business experience during at least the past five years:
Name
 
Age
 
Position
Charles W. Ergen
 
64
 
Chairman
Michael T. Dugan
 
69
 
Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
David J. Rayner
 
60
 
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer
Anders N. Johnson
 
60
 
Chief Strategy Officer and President, EchoStar Satellite Services L.L.C.
Pradman P. Kaul
 
71
 
President, Hughes Communications, Inc. and Director
Kranti K. Kilaru
 
52
 
Executive Vice President
Dean A. Manson
 
51
 
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
 
Charles W. Ergen.  Mr. Ergen has served as our executive Chairman since November 2009 and Chairman of the Board of Directors since our formation in 2007.  Mr. Ergen served as our Chief Executive Officer from our formation in 2007 until November 2009.  Mr. Ergen serves as executive Chairman and has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of DISH Network since its formation and, during the past five years, has held executive officer and director positions with DISH Network and its subsidiaries, most recently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of DISH Network from March 2015 to December 2017. 
 
Michael T. Dugan.  Mr. Dugan has served as our Chief Executive Officer and President since November 2009.  Mr. Dugan has also served as a member of our Board of Directors since our formation in 2007.  Mr. Dugan served as a senior advisor to EchoStar from January 1, 2008 until November 2009.  From May 2004 to December 2007, he was a director of DISH Network and from 1990 to 2006 served in several executive roles at DISH Network, including as President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Technical Officer and senior advisor. 
 
David J. Rayner.  Mr. Rayner has served as our Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer since December 2012 and as our Chief Operating Officer since September 2016. From November 2011 to November 2012, Mr. Rayner served as Chief Financial Officer of Tendril Networks, Inc., a Boulder, Colorado software company.  Mr. Rayner served as our Chief Financial Officer from June 2010 to November 2011 and served as our Chief Administrative Officer from January 2008 to June 2010.  Prior to that, Mr. Rayner served as Executive Vice President of Installation and Service Networks of DISH Network and previously as Chief Financial Officer of DISH Network.  Before joining DISH Network in December 2004, Mr. Rayner served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Time Warner Telecom in Denver, beginning in June 1998.

Anders N. Johnson.  Mr. Johnson has served as President of EchoStar Satellite Services L.L.C. since June 2011 and as our Chief Strategy Officer since September 2016. Before joining EchoStar, Mr. Johnson was most recently at SES World Skies where he served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Satellite Development.  Mr. Johnson joined SES GLOBAL after the combination of GE Americom and SES GLOBAL in 2001.  Prior to SES GLOBAL, Mr. Johnson worked at GE Capital beginning in 1985 in a variety of executive level roles in Satellite Services, Aviation Services, and Transportation & Industrial Financing.
 
Pradman P. Kaul.  Mr. Kaul has served as President of Hughes Communications, Inc. (“Hughes Communications”) since its formation in February 2006, and as President of Hughes Network Systems, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hughes Communications (“HNS” and, together with Hughes Communications, “Hughes”) since 2000.  Mr. Kaul has also served as a member of our Board of Directors since August 2011 as well as a member of the board of directors of Hughes Communications from February 2006 until June 2011.  Previously, Mr. Kaul served as the Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Director of Engineering of HNS.

Kranti K. Kilaru.  Mr. Kilaru has served as an Executive Vice President since May 2017 and from July 2013 until May 2017 as our Executive Vice President, Business Systems, IT and Operations.  Mr. Kilaru served as Senior Vice President of our systems engineering group from April 2005 to July 2013. 

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Dean A. Manson.  Mr. Manson has served as our Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since November 2011. Mr. Manson also serves as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Hughes Communications.  Mr. Manson joined Hughes in 2000 from the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, where he focused on international project finance and corporate transactions, and was appointed General Counsel of Hughes in 2004.
 
There are no arrangements or understandings between any executive officer and any other person pursuant to which any executive officer was selected as such.  Pursuant to the Bylaws of EchoStar, executive officers serve at the discretion of the Board of Directors.



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Item 1A.    RISK FACTORS
 
The risks and uncertainties described below are not the only ones facing us.  If any of the following events occur, our business, financial condition, results of operation, prospects or ability to fund a share repurchase program, invest capital in or otherwise run our business, execute on our strategic plans or return capital to our shareholders could be materially and adversely affected.
 
GENERAL RISKS AFFECTING OUR BUSINESS
 
We currently derive a significant portion of our revenue from DISH Network.  The loss of, or a significant reduction in, orders from, or a decrease in selling prices of satellite services, broadband equipment and/or other services or products to DISH Network would significantly reduce our revenue and materially adversely impact our results of operations.
 
DISH Network accounted for 23.7%, 26.1% and 29.4% of our total revenue for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.   

DISH Network is the primary customer of the satellite services provided by our ESS segment. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, DISH Network accounted for 87.9%, 85.7% and 86.3% of our total ESS segment revenue. We have entered into certain commercial agreements with DISH Network pursuant to which we provide DISH Network with satellite services at fixed prices for varying lengths of time depending on the satellite.  See Note 19 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report for further discussion of our related party transactions with DISH Network. We depend on DISH Network for a significant portion of the revenue for our ESS segment, and we expect that DISH Network will continue to be the primary source of revenue for our ESS segment. DISH Network may terminate or curtail its purchase of satellite services from us with little or no advance notice. The results of operations of our ESS segment are linked to changes in DISH Network’s satellite capacity requirements. DISH Network’s capacity requirements have been driven by the addition of new channels and migration of programming to high-definition TV and video on demand services. The services that we provide to DISH Network are critical to its nationwide delivery of content to its customers across the U.S. There is no assurance that we will continue to provide satellite services to DISH Network and DISH Network’s satellite capacity requirements may change for a variety of reasons, including its ability to construct and launch its own satellites.  The success of our ESS segment also depends to a significant degree on the continued success of DISH Network in attracting new subscribers and marketing programming packages and other services. If DISH Network is unable to develop and effectively market compelling reasons for its subscribers to purchase its pay-TV services, DISH Network’s need for our satellite services may decrease. Any termination, curtailment or reduction in the satellite services we provide to DISH Network or the prices that DISH Network pays us for such services may cause us to have unused capacity on our satellites, require us to aggressively pursue alternative sources of revenue for this business and have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operation and financial position.

If we lose DISH Network as a customer of the satellite services provided by our ESS segment, it may be difficult for us to replace, in whole or in part, our historical revenue from DISH Network because there are a relatively small number of potential customers for our specialized services, and we have had limited success in attracting such potential new customers in the past.  Historically, many potential customers of our ESS segment have perceived us as a competitor due to our affiliation with DISH Network. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in entering into any commercial relationships with potential new customers who are competitors of DISH Network (particularly if we continue to be perceived as affiliated with DISH Network as a result of common ownership and certain shared services).  If we do not develop relationships with new customers, we may not be able to expand our customer base or maintain or increase our revenue.

Furthermore, DISH Network is transitioning from being a wholesale distributor of the satellite internet service of our Hughes segment to being a sales agent for such services. DISH Network (i) has the right, but not the obligation, to market, promote and solicit orders and upgrades for the Hughes satellite internet service and related equipment and other telecommunications services and (ii) will install Hughes service equipment with respect to activations generated by DISH Network. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, DISH Network accounted for 5.6%, 7.7% and 7.8% of our total Hughes segment revenue. Any material reduction in or termination of sales generated by DISH Network in its capacity as our sale agent could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial position.


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Our strategic initiatives may not be successfully implemented, may not elicit the expected customer response in the market and may result in competitive reactions.
 
We intend to continue to selectively explore opportunities to pursue investments, commercial alliances, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions and other strategic initiatives, domestically and internationally, that we believe may allow us to increase our existing market share, expand into new markets and new customers, broaden our portfolio of services, products and intellectual property, and strengthen our relationships with our customers. We may allocate significant resources for long-term initiatives that may not have a short or medium-term or any positive impact on our revenue, results of operations, or cash flow.
The successful implementation of our strategic initiatives requires an investment of time, talent and money and is dependent upon a number of factors some of which are not within our control.  Those factors include the ability to execute such initiatives in new and existing markets, the response of existing and potential new customers, and the actions or reactions of competitors.  We may allocate significant resources for long-term initiatives that may not have a short or medium term or any positive impact on our revenue, results of operations, or cash flow.  If we fail to properly execute or deliver products or services that address customers’ expectations, it may have an adverse effect on our ability to retain and attract customers and may increase our costs and reduce our revenue.  Similarly, competitive actions or reactions to our initiatives or advancements in technology or competitive products or services could impair our ability to execute those strategic initiatives or advancements.  In addition, new strategic initiatives may face barriers to entering new or existing markets with established or new competitors.  There can be no assurance that we will successfully implement these strategic initiatives or that, if successfully pursued, they will have the desired effect on our business or results of operations.
 
We could face decreased demand and increased pricing pressure to our products and services due to competition.
 
Our business operates in an intensely competitive, consumer-driven and rapidly changing environment and competes with a growing number of companies that provide products and services to consumers.  There can be no assurance that we will be able to effectively compete against our competitors due to their significant resources and operating history. Risks to our business from competition include, but are not limited to, the following:
 
Our ESS segment competes against larger, well-established satellite service companies.  Because the satellite services industry is relatively mature, our growth strategy depends largely on our ability to displace current incumbent providers, which often have the benefit of long-term contracts with customers.  These long-term contracts and other factors result in relatively high costs for customers to change service providers, making it more difficult for us to displace customers from their current relationships with our competitors.  In addition, the supply of satellite capacity available in the market has increased in recent years, which makes it more difficult for us to sell our services in certain markets and to price our capacity at acceptable levels.  Competition may cause downward pressure on prices and further reduce the utilization of our capacity, both of which could have an adverse effect on our financial performance.  Our ESS segment also competes with both fiber optic cable and terrestrial delivery systems, which may have a cost advantage, particularly in point-to-point applications where such delivery systems have been installed, and with new delivery systems being developed, which may have lower latency and other advantages.
In our consumer market, our Hughes segment faces competition primarily from DSL, fiber and cable internet service providers.  Also, other telecommunications, satellite and wireless broadband companies have launched or are planning the launch of consumer internet access services in competition with our service offerings in North America, Brazil and other countries.  Some of these competitors offer consumer services and hardware at lower prices than ours.  In addition, terrestrial alternatives do not require our external dish, which may limit customer acceptance of our products.  We may be unsuccessful in competing effectively against DSL, fiber and cable internet service providers and other satellite broadband providers, which could harm our business, operating results and financial condition.
In our enterprise network communications market, our Hughes segment faces competition from providers of terrestrial-based networks, such as fiber, DSL, cable modem service, multiprotocol label switching and internet protocol-based virtual private networks, which may have advantages over satellite networks for certain customer applications.  Although we also sell terrestrial services to this market, we may not be as cost competitive and it may become more difficult for us to compete.  The network communications industry is characterized by competitive pressures to provide enhanced functionality for the same or lower price with each new generation of technology.  Terrestrial-based networks are offered by telecommunications carriers and other large companies, many of which have substantially greater financial resources and greater name recognition than us.  As the prices of our products decrease, we will need to sell more products and/or reduce the per-unit costs to improve or maintain our results of operations.  The costs of a satellite network may exceed those of a terrestrial-based network or other networks, especially in areas that have experienced significant DSL and cable internet build-out.  It may become more difficult for us to compete

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with terrestrial and other providers as the number of these areas increases and the cost of their network and hardware services declines.  Terrestrial networks also have a competitive edge because of lower latency for data transmission.
 
To the extent we have available satellite capacity in our ESS segment, our results of operations may be materially adversely affected if we are not able to provide satellite services on this capacity to third parties, including DISH Network.
 
While we are currently evaluating various opportunities to make profitable use of our available satellite capacity (including, but not limited to, supplying satellite capacity for new domestic and international ventures), there can be no assurance that we can successfully develop these business opportunities.  If we are unable to utilize our available satellite capacity for providing satellite services to third parties, including DISH Network, our margins could be negatively impacted, and we may be required to record impairments related to our satellites.
 
The failure to adequately anticipate the need for satellite capacity or the inability to obtain satellite capacity for our Hughes segment could harm our results of operations.
 
Our Hughes segment has made substantial contractual commitments for satellite capacity based on our existing customer contracts and backlog.  If our existing customer contracts were to be terminated prior to their respective expiration dates, we may be committed to maintaining excess satellite capacity for which we will have insufficient revenue to cover our costs, which would have a negative impact on our margins and results of operations.  Alternatively, we may not have sufficient satellite capacity available from our satellites or purchased from third parties to meet demand and we may not be able to quickly or easily adjust our capacity to changes in demand.  As capacity becomes full on our existing satellites, significant delays in the construction or launch of new satellites and/or satellite anomalies or failures could materially and adversely affect our ability to provide services to customers. We generally only purchase satellite capacity based on existing contracts and bookings.  Therefore, capacity for certain types of coverage in the future may not be readily available to us, and we may not be able to satisfy certain needs of our customers, which could result in a loss of possible new business and could negatively impact the margins for those services.  Our ability to provide additional capacity for subscriber growth in our North American consumer market could also be adversely affected by regulations and/or legislation in the U.S. that enable or propose to enable the use of a portion of the frequency bands, we currently use or in the future intend to use for satellite services, 5G mobile terrestrial services or other uses. These bands include the Ka-band, where we operate our broadband gateway earth stations, and other bands in which we may operate in the future. Such regulation or legislation could limit our ability to use the Ka-band and/or other bands, limit our flexibility to change the way in which we use the Ka-band and/or adversely impact our ability to use additional bands in the future. Other countries in which we currently, or may in the future, operate are also considering regulations that could similarly limit access to the Ka-band or other frequency bands. In addition, the FSS industry has seen consolidation in the past decade, and today, the main FSS providers in North America and a number of smaller regional providers own and operate the current satellites that are available for our capacity needs.  The failure of any of these FSS providers to replace existing satellite assets at the end of their useful lives or a downturn in their industry as a whole could reduce or interrupt the satellite capacity available to us.  Our business and results of operations could be adversely affected if we are not able to renew our capacity leases at economically viable rates, or if capacity is not available due to problems experienced by these FSS providers or if frequencies are not available to us.
 
We are dependent upon third-party providers for components, manufacturing, installation services, and customer support services, and our results of operations may be materially adversely affected if any of these third-party providers fail to appropriately deliver the contracted goods or services.
 
We are dependent upon third-party services and products provided to us, including the following:
 
Components .  A limited number of suppliers manufacture, and in some cases a single supplier manufactures, some of the key components required to build our products. These key components may not be continually available and we may not be able to forecast our component requirements sufficiently in advance, which may have a detrimental effect on supply.  If we are required to change suppliers for any reason, we would experience a delay in manufacturing our products if another supplier is not able to meet our requirements on a timely basis.  In addition, if we are unable to obtain the necessary volumes of components on favorable terms or prices on a timely basis, we may be unable to produce our products at competitive prices and we may be unable to satisfy demand from our customers.  Our reliance on a single or limited group of suppliers, particularly foreign suppliers, and our reliance on subcontractors, involves several risks.  These risks include a potential inability to obtain an adequate supply of required components, reduced control over pricing, quality, and timely delivery of these components, and the potential bankruptcy, lack of liquidity or operational failure of our suppliers.  We do not generally maintain long-term agreements with any of our suppliers or subcontractors for our products.  An inability to obtain adequate deliveries or any other circumstances requiring us to seek al

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ternative sources of supply could affect our ability to ship our products on a timely basis, which could damage our relationships with current and prospective customers and harm our business, resulting in a loss of market share, and reduced revenue and income.
Commodity Price Risk.  Fluctuations in pricing of raw materials can affect our product costs.  To the extent that component pricing does not decline or increases, whether due to inflation, increased demand, decreased supply or other factors, we may not be able to pass on the impact of increasing raw materials prices, component prices or labor and other costs, to our customers, and we may not be able to operate profitably.  Such changes could have an adverse impact on our product costs.
Manufacturing.  While we develop and manufacture prototypes for certain of our products, we use contract manufacturers to produce a significant portion of our hardware.  If these contract manufacturers fail to provide products that meet our specifications in a timely manner, then our customer relationships and revenue may be harmed.
Installation and customer support services.  Some of our products and services, such as our North American and international operations, utilize a network of third-party installers to deploy our hardware.  In addition, a portion of our customer support and management is provided by third-party call centers.  A decline in levels of service or attention to the needs of our customers could adversely affect our reputation, renewal rates and ability to win new business.
Other services.  Some of our products rely on third parties to provide services necessary for the operation of functionalities of the products, such as third-party cloud computing services and satellite uplink hosting services.  The failure of these services could disrupt the operation of certain functionalities of our products, which could harm our customer relationship and result in a loss of sales.  In addition, if the agreements for the provision of these services are terminated or not renewed, we could face difficulties replacing these service providers, which would adversely affect our ability to obtain and retain customers and result in reduced revenue and income.
 
Our foreign operations and investments expose us to risks and restrictions not present in our domestic operations.
 
Our sales outside the U.S. are growing and accounted for approximately 19.3%, 18.2% and 17.3% of our revenue for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively.  Collectively, we expect our foreign operations to continue to represent a significant and growing portion of our business.  Over the last 10 years, we sold products in over 100 countries and began offering broadband internet services to consumers in Brazil and Colombia and intend to continue to do so in other Central and South American countries.  Our foreign operations involve varying degrees of risk and uncertainties inherent in doing business abroad.  Such risks include:
 
Complications in complying with restrictions on foreign ownership and investment and limitations on repatriation.  We may not be permitted to own our operations in some countries and may have to enter into partnership or joint venture relationships.  Many foreign legal regimes restrict our repatriation of earnings to the U.S. from our subsidiaries and joint venture entities.  Applicable law in such foreign countries may also limit our ability to distribute or access our assets or offer our products and services in certain circumstances.  In such event, we will not have access to the cash flow and assets of our subsidiaries and joint ventures.
Difficulties in following a variety of laws and regulations related to foreign operations.  Our international operations are subject to the laws and regulations of many different jurisdictions that may differ significantly from U.S. laws and regulations.  For example, local privacy or intellectual property laws may hold us responsible for the data that is transmitted over our network by our customers.  In addition, we are subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar anti-bribery laws in other jurisdictions that generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments or giving or promising to give anything of value to foreign officials and other individuals for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or gaining a competitive advantage.  Our policies mandate compliance with these laws.  However, we operate in many parts of the world that have experienced corruption to some degree.  Compliance with these laws may lead to increased operations costs or loss of business opportunities.  Violations of these laws could result in fines or other penalties or sanctions, which could have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
Restrictions on space station landing/terrestrial rights .  Satellite market access and landing rights and terrestrial wireless rights are dependent on the national regulations established by foreign governments, including, but not limited to obtaining national authorizations or approvals and meeting other regulatory, coordination and registration requirements for satellites.  Because regulatory schemes vary by country, we may be subject to laws or regulations in foreign countries of which we are not presently aware.  Non-compliance with these requirements may result in the loss of the authorizations and licenses to conduct business in these countries, as well as fines or other financial and non-financial penalties for non-compliance with regulations.  If that were to be the case, we could be subject to sanctions, penalties and/or other actions by a foreign government that could materially and adversely affect our ability to operate in that country.  There is no assurance that any current

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regulatory approvals held by us are, or will remain, sufficient in the view of foreign regulatory authorities, or that any additional necessary approvals will be granted on a timely basis or at all, in all jurisdictions in which we wish to operate new satellites, or that applicable restrictions in those jurisdictions will not be unduly burdensome.  Violations of laws or regulations may result in various sanctions including fines, loss of authorizations and the denial of applications for new authorizations or for the renewal of existing authorizations, and the failure to obtain or comply with the authorizations and regulations governing our international operations could have a material adverse effect on our ability to generate revenue and our overall competitive position.
Financial and legal constraints and obligations.  Operating pursuant to foreign licenses subjects us to certain financial constraints and obligations, including, but not limited to: (a) tax liabilities that may or may not be dependent on revenue; (b) the burden of creating and maintaining additional entities, branches, facilities and/or staffing in foreign jurisdictions; and (c) legal regulations requiring that we make certain satellite capacity available for “free,” which may impact our revenue.  In addition, if we need to pursue legal remedies against our customers or our business partners located outside of the U.S., it may be difficult for us to enforce our rights against them.
Compliance with applicable export control laws and regulations in the U.S. and other countries.  We must comply with all applicable export control and trade sanctions laws and regulations of the U.S. and other countries.  U.S. laws and regulations applicable to us include the Arms Export Control Act, ITAR, EAR and trade sanctions laws and regulations administered by OFAC.  The export of certain hardware, technical data and services relating to satellites is regulated by BIS under EAR.  Other items are controlled for export by the DDTC under ITAR.  We cannot provide equipment or services to certain countries subject to U.S. trade sanctions unless we first obtain the necessary authorizations from OFAC.  Violations of these laws or regulations could result in significant sanctions including fines, more onerous compliance requirements, debarments from export privileges, or loss of authorizations needed to conduct aspects of our international business.  A violation of ITAR or the other regulations enumerated above could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Changes in exchange rates between foreign currencies and the U.S. dollar.  We conduct our business and incur cost in the local currency of a number of the countries in which we operate.  Accordingly, our applicable results of operations are reported in the relevant local currency and then translated to U.S. dollars at the applicable currency exchange rate for inclusion in our financial statements.  In addition, we sell our products and services and acquire supplies and components from countries that historically have been, and may continue to be, susceptible to recessions, instability or currency devaluation.  These fluctuations in currency exchange rates, recessions and currency devaluations have affected, and may in the future affect, revenue, profits and cash earned on international sales.
Greater exposure to the possibility of economic instability, the disruption of operations from labor and political disturbances, expropriation or war.  As we conduct operations throughout the world, we could be subject to regional or national economic downturns or instability, acts of terrorism, labor or political disturbances or conflicts of various sizes, including wars.  Any of these disruptions could detrimentally affect our sales in the affected region or country or lead to damage to, or expropriation of, our property or danger to our personnel.
Competition with large or state-owned enterprises and/or regulations that effectively limit our operations and favor local competitors.  Many of the countries in which we conduct business have traditionally had state owned or state granted monopolies on telecommunications services that favor an incumbent service provider.  We face competition from these favored and entrenched companies in countries that have not deregulated.  The slower pace of deregulation in these countries, including in Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe, has adversely affected, and is likely to continue to adversely affect, the development and growth of our business in these regions.
Customer credit risks.  Customer credit risks are exacerbated in foreign operations because there is often little information available about the credit histories of customers in certain of the foreign countries in which we operate.

We may experience loss from some of our customer contracts.
 
We provide access to our telecommunications networks to customers that use a variety of platforms such as satellite, wireless 3G, 4G, cable, fiber optic and DSL.  These customer contracts may require us to provide services at a fixed price for the term of the contract.  To facilitate the provision of this access, we may enter into contracts with terrestrial platform providers.  Our agreements with these subcontractors may allow for prices to be changed during the term of the contracts.  We assume greater financial risk on these customer contracts than on other types of contracts because if we do not estimate costs accurately and there is an increase in our subcontractors’ prices, our net profit may be significantly reduced or there may be a loss on the contracts.
 

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We may experience significant financial losses on our existing investments.
 
We have entered into certain strategic transactions and investments.  These investments involve a high degree of risk and could diminish our financial condition or our ability to fund a share repurchase program, invest capital in our business or return capital to our shareholders.  The overall sustained economic uncertainty, as well as financial, operational and other difficulties encountered by certain companies in which we have invested increases the risk that the actual amounts realized in the future on our debt and equity investments will differ significantly from the fair values currently assigned to them.  In addition, the companies in which we invest or with whom we partner may not be able to compete effectively or there may be insufficient demand for the services and products offered by these companies.  These investments could also expose us to significant financial losses and may restrict our ability to make other investments or limit alternative uses of our capital resources.  If our investments suffer losses, our financial condition could be materially adversely affected.
 
We may pursue acquisitions, capital expenditures, the development and launch of new satellites and other strategic transactions to complement or expand our business, which may not be successful and we may lose a portion or all of our investment in these acquisitions and transactions.
 
Our future success may depend on the existence of, and our ability to capitalize on, opportunities to acquire or develop other businesses or technologies or partner with other companies that could complement, enhance or expand our current business, services or products or that may otherwise offer us growth opportunities.  We may pursue investments, commercial alliances, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions or other strategic initiatives or development activities, including, without limitation, the design, development, construction and launch of new satellites, to complement or expand our business and satellite fleet.  Any such acquisitions, activities, transactions or investments that we are able to identify and complete which may become substantial over time, involve a high degree of risk, including, but not limited to, the following:
 
the diversion of our management’s attention from our existing business to integrate the operations and personnel of the acquired or combined business, technology or joint venture and/or to engage in such investments and/or other activities;
the ability and capacity of our management team to carry out all of our business plans, including with respect to our existing businesses and any businesses we acquire or embark on in the future;
possible adverse effects on our and our targets’ and partners’ business, financial condition or operating results during the integration process;
exposure to significant financial losses if the transactions, activities, investments and/or the underlying ventures are not successful and/or we are unable to achieve the intended objectives of the transaction or investment;
the inability to obtain in the anticipated time frame, or at all, any regulatory approvals required to complete proposed acquisitions, activities, transactions or investments;
the risks associated with complying with regulations applicable to the acquired or developed business or technologies which may cause us to incur substantial expenses;
the inability to realize anticipated benefits or synergies from acquisitions, investments, alliances and/or the development and launch of new satellites;
the disruption of relationships with employees, vendors or customers;
the risks associated with foreign and international operations and/or investments; and
the risks associated with developing and constructing new satellites.

New investments, commercial alliances, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions, development activities, including, without limitation, the design, development, construction and launch of new satellites, and other strategic initiatives may require the commitment of significant capital that may otherwise be directed to investments in our existing businesses or be distributed to shareholders.  Commitment of this capital may cause us to defer or suspend any share repurchases or capital expenditures that we otherwise may have made.
 
We may not be able to generate cash to meet our debt service needs or fund our operations.

As of December 31, 2017, our total indebtedness was approximately $3.63 billionOur ability to make payments on or to refinance our indebtedness and to fund our operations will depend on our ability to generate cash in the future, which is subject in part to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory and other factors that are beyond our control.  We may need to raise additional capital in order to fund ongoing operations or to capitalize on business opportunities.  We may not

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be able to generate sufficient cash flow from operations and future borrowings or equity may not be available in amounts sufficient to enable us to service our indebtedness or to fund our operations or other liquidity needs.  If we are unable to generate sufficient cash, we may be forced to take actions such as revising or delaying our strategic plans, reducing or delaying capital expenditures and/or the development, design and construction of new satellites, selling assets, restructuring or refinancing our debt or seeking additional equity capital.  We may not be able to implement any of these actions on satisfactory terms, or at all.  The indentures governing our indebtedness limit our ability to dispose of assets and use the proceeds from such dispositions.  Therefore, we may not be able to consummate those dispositions on satisfactory terms, or at all, or to use those proceeds in a manner we may otherwise prefer. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 enacted in December 2017 (the “2017 Tax Act”) limits the deductibility of interest expense for U.S. federal income tax purposes.  While the 2017 Tax Act generally is likely to reduce our federal income tax obligations, if these limitations or other newly enacted provisions become applicable to us, they could minimize such reductions or otherwise require us to pay additional federal income taxes, which in turn could result in additional liquidity needs.
 
In addition, conditions in the financial markets could make it difficult for us to access capital markets at acceptable terms or at all.  Instability or other conditions in the equity markets could make it difficult for us to raise equity financing without incurring substantial dilution to our existing shareholders.  In addition, sustained or increased economic weaknesses or pressures or new economic conditions may limit our ability to generate sufficient internal cash to fund investments, capital expenditures, acquisitions, and other strategic transactions and/or the development, design and construction of new satellites.  We cannot predict with any certainty whether or not we will be impacted by economic conditions.  As a result, these conditions make it difficult for us to accurately forecast and plan future business activities because we may not have access to funding sources necessary for us to pursue organic and strategic business development opportunities.
 
Covenants in our indentures restrict our business in many ways.
 
The indentures governing the HSS 6 1/2% Senior Secured Notes due 2019 (the “2019 Senior Secured Notes”), 7 5/8% Senior Notes due 2021 (the “2021 Senior Unsecured Notes”), 5.250% Senior Secured Notes due August 1, 2026 (the “2026 Senior Secured Notes”) and 6.625% Senior Unsecured Notes due August 1, 2026 (the “2026 Senior Unsecured Notes” and together with the 2026 Senior Secured Notes, the “2026 Notes”) contain various covenants, subject to certain exceptions, that limit our ability and/or our restricted subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things:
 
incur additional debt;
pay dividends or make distributions on HSS’ capital stock or repurchase HSS’ capital stock;
make certain investments;
create liens or enter into sale and leaseback transactions;
enter into transactions with affiliates;
merge or consolidate with another company;
transfer and sell assets; and
allow to exist certain restrictions on the ability of certain of HSS’ subsidiaries to pay dividends, make distributions, make other payments, or transfer assets to HSS or its subsidiaries.
 
Failure to comply with these and certain other financial covenants, if not cured or waived, may result in an event of default under the indentures, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects.  If an event of default occurs and is continuing under the respective indenture, the trustee under that indenture or the requisite holders of the notes under that indenture may declare all such notes to be immediately due and payable and, in the case of the indentures governing any of our secured notes, could proceed against the collateral that secures the applicable secured notes. Certain of our subsidiaries have pledged a significant portion of our assets as collateral to secure the 2019 Senior Secured Notes and the 2026 Senior Secured Notes.  If we do not have enough cash to service our debt or fund other liquidity needs, we may be required to take actions such as requesting a waiver from the holders of the notes, reducing or delaying capital expenditures, selling assets, restructuring or refinancing all or part of the existing debt, or seeking additional equity capital.  We cannot assure you that any of these remedies can be implemented on commercially reasonable terms or at all, which could result in the trustee declaring the notes to be immediately due and payable and/or foreclosing on the collateral.
 

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We rely on key personnel and the loss of their services may negatively affect our businesses.
 
We believe that our future success will depend to a significant extent upon the performance of Mr. Charles W. Ergen, our Chairman, and certain other key executives.  The loss of Mr. Ergen or of certain other key executives or of the ability of Mr. Ergen or certain other key executives to devote sufficient time and effort to our business could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.  Although some of our key executives may have agreements relating to their equity compensation that limit their ability to work for or consult with competitors, under certain circumstances, we generally do not have employment agreements with them.  To the extent Mr. Ergen or other officers are performing services for both DISH Network and us, their attention may be diverted away from our business and therefore adversely affect our business.
 
We may be subject to risks relating to the referendum of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union.

The formal two-year process governing the United Kingdom’s (the “U.K.”) departure from the European Union and its member states (“EU”), commonly referred to as the “Brexit,” began on March 29, 2017. Although it is unknown what the ultimate terms of Brexit will be, it is possible that there will be greater restrictions on imports and exports between the U.K. and EU countries.  The effects of Brexit and the perceptions as to the impact of the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU may also adversely affect business activity, political stability and economic and market conditions in the U.K., the Eurozone, the EU and elsewhere and could contribute to instability in global financial and foreign exchange markets, including volatility in the value of the Euro and the British Pound. Additionally, with the U.K. no longer being a part of the EU, there may be certain regulatory changes that may impact the regulatory regime under which we operate in both the U.K. and the EU.  Given that a portion of our business is conducted in the EU, including the U.K., any of these and other changes, implications and consequences may adversely affect our business and results of operations.

A natural disaster could diminish our ability to provide service to our customers.

Natural disasters could damage or destroy our ground stations and/or other infrastructure, equipment and facilities, resulting in a disruption of service to our customers.  We currently have backup systems and technology in place to safeguard our antennas and protect our ground stations during natural disasters such as tornadoes, but the possibility still exists that our ground facilities and/or other infrastructure, equipment and facilities could be impacted during a major natural disaster.  If a future natural disaster impairs or destroys any of our ground facilities and/or other infrastructure, equipment and facilities, we may be unable to provide service to our customers in the affected area for a period of time which may adversely affect our business and results of operations.

We may have additional tax liabilities and changes in tax laws or regulations may have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flow, financial condition or results of operations.

We are subject to income taxes in the United States and foreign jurisdictions.  Significant judgments are required in determining our provisions for income taxes.  In the course of preparing our tax provisions and returns, we must make calculations where the ultimate tax determination may be uncertain.  Our tax returns are subject to examination by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), state, and foreign tax authorities.  There can be no assurance as to the outcome of these examinations.  If the ultimate determination of taxes owed is for an amount in excess of amounts previously accrued, our operating results, cash flows, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Additionally, new or modified income, sales, use or other tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be enacted at any time, which, like the 2017 Tax Act, could affect the tax treatment of our domestic and foreign earnings. Any new taxes could adversely affect our domestic and international business operations and our business and financial performance. Further, existing tax laws, statutes, rules, regulations or ordinances could be interpreted, changed, modified or applied adversely to us. The 2017 Tax Act contains many significant changes to U.S. tax laws, including changes in corporate tax rates, the availability of net deferred tax assets relating to our U.S. operations, the taxation and repatriation of foreign earnings, and the deductibility of expenses. The 2017 Tax Act or other tax reform legislation has had and could have a material impact on the value of our deferred tax assets, has and could result in significant charges in the current or future taxable years, and could increase our future U.S. tax expense. Furthermore, changes to the taxation of undistributed foreign earnings could change our future intentions regarding reinvestment of such earnings. The foregoing items could have a material adverse effect on our business, cash flow, financial condition or results of operations.

We earn a portion of our operating income from outside the United States, and any repatriation of funds currently held in foreign jurisdictions may result in higher effective tax rates for us. In addition, recent changes to U.S. tax laws will significantly impact how U.S. multinational corporations are taxed on foreign earnings. Numerous countries are evaluating their existing tax laws due

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in part, to recommendations made by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (“OECD’s”) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) project. Although we cannot predict whether or in what form any legislation based on such proposals may be adopted by the countries in which we do business, future tax reform based on such proposals or otherwise may increase the amount of taxes we pay and adversely affect our operating results and cash flows.

Due to the timing of the enactment and the complexity involved in applying the provisions of the 2017 Tax Act, we made reasonable estimates of the effects and recorded provisional amounts in our financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017. The U.S. Treasury Department, the IRS and other standard-setting bodies may issue guidance on how the provisions of the 2017 Tax Act will be applied or otherwise administered that is different from our interpretation. As we collect and prepare necessary data, and interpret the 2017 Tax Act and any additional guidance issued by the IRS or other standard-setting bodies, we may make adjustments to the provisional amounts that could materially affect our financial position and results of operations as well as our effective tax rate in the period in which the adjustments are made.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR SATELLITES
 
Our owned and leased satellites in orbit are subject to significant operational and environmental risks that could limit our ability to utilize these satellites.
 
Satellites are subject to significant operational risks while in orbit.  These risks include malfunctions, commonly referred to as anomalies, which have occurred and may occur in the future in our satellites and the satellites of other operators as a result of various factors, such as satellite design and manufacturing defects, problems with the power systems or control systems of the satellites, general failures resulting from operating satellites in the harsh environment of space and cyber-attacks or physical attacks on our satellites.
 
Although we work closely with the satellite manufacturers to determine and eliminate the cause of anomalies in new satellites and provide for redundancies of many critical components in the satellites, we may not be able to prevent anomalies or outages from occurring and may experience anomalies and outages in the future, whether of the types described above or arising from the failure of other systems or components.
 
Any single anomaly or outage or series of anomalies or outages could materially and adversely affect our ability to utilize the satellite, our operations, services and revenue as well as our relationships with current customers and our ability to attract new customers.  In particular, future anomalies or outages may result in, among other things, the loss of individual transponders/beams and/or functional solar array circuits on a satellite, a group of transponders/beams on that satellite or the entire satellite, depending on the nature of the anomaly or outage. Anomalies or outages may also reduce the expected capacity, commercial operation and/or useful life of a satellite, thereby reducing the revenue that could be generated by that satellite, or create additional expenses due to the need to provide replacement or back-up satellites or satellite capacity earlier than planned and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
The loss of a satellite or other satellite malfunctions or anomalies or outages could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance, which we may not be able to mitigate by using available capacity on other satellites.  There can be no assurance that we can recover critical transmission capacity in the event one or more of our in-orbit satellites were to fail.  In addition, the loss of a satellite or other satellite malfunctions or anomalies or outages could affect our ability to comply with FCC and other regulatory obligations and our ability to fund the construction or acquisition of replacement satellites for our in-orbit fleet in a timely fashion, or at all.  There can be no assurance that anomalies or outages will not impact the remaining useful life and/or the commercial operation of any of the satellites in our fleet.  In addition, there can be no assurance that we can recover critical transmission capacity in the event one or more of our in-orbit satellites were to fail.
 
Meteoroid events pose a potential threat to all in-orbit satellites.  The probability that meteoroids will damage those satellites increases significantly when the Earth passes through the particulate stream left behind by comets.  Occasionally, increased solar activity also poses a potential threat to all in-orbit satellites.
 
Some decommissioned satellites are in uncontrolled orbits, which pass through the geostationary belt at various points and present hazards to operational satellites, including our satellites.  We may be required to perform maneuvers to avoid collisions and these maneuvers may prove unsuccessful or could reduce the useful life of the satellite through the expenditure of fuel to perform these maneuvers.  The loss, damage or destruction of any of our satellites as a result of an electrostatic storm, collision with space debris, malfunction or other event could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 

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We historically have not carried in-orbit insurance on many of our satellites because we have assessed that the cost of such insurance is uneconomical relative to the risk of failures. If one or more of our in-orbit uninsured satellites fail, we could be required to record significant impairment charges for the satellite.
 
Our satellites have minimum design lives ranging from 12 to 15 years, but could fail or suffer reduced capacity before then.
 
Generally, the minimum design life of each of our satellites ranges from 12 to 15 years.  We can provide no assurance, however, as to the actual operational lives of our satellites, which may be shorter or longer than their design lives.  Our ability to earn revenue depends on the continued operation of our satellites, each of which has a limited useful life.  A number of factors affect the useful lives of the satellites, including, among other things, the quality of their design and construction, the durability of their component parts, the ability to continue to maintain proper orbit and control over the satellite’s functions, the efficiency of the launch vehicle used, and the remaining on-board fuel following orbit insertion. In addition, continued improvements in satellite technology may make obsolete our existing satellites, or any satellites we may acquire in the future, prior to the end of their design lives.
 
In the event of a failure or loss of any of our satellites, we may relocate another satellite and use it as a replacement for the failed or lost satellite, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.  Additionally, such relocation would require governmental approval.  We cannot be certain that we could obtain such governmental approval.  In addition, we cannot guarantee that another satellite will be available for use as a replacement for a failed or lost satellite, or that such relocation can be accomplished without a substantial utilization of fuel.  Any such utilization of fuel would reduce the operational life of the replacement satellite.
 
Our satellites under construction are subject to risks related to construction, technology, regulations and launch that could limit our ability to utilize these satellites and adversely affect our business and financial condition.
 
Satellite construction and launch are subject to significant risks, including delays, anomalies, launch failure and incorrect orbital placement.  The technologies in our satellite designs are very complex and difficulties in constructing our designs could result in delays in the deployment of our satellites or increased or unanticipated costs. There also can be no assurance that the technologies in our existing satellites or in new satellites that we design and build will work as we expect and/or will not become obsolete, that we will realize any or all of the anticipated benefits of our satellite designs or our new satellites, or that we will obtain all regulatory approvals required to operate our new satellites. In addition, certain launch vehicles that may be used by us have either unproven track records or have experienced launch failures in the past.  The risks of launch delay, launch anomalies and launch failure are usually greater when the launch vehicle does not have a track record of previous successful flights.  Launch anomalies and failures can result in significant delays in the deployment of satellites because of the need both to construct replacement satellites, which can take more than three years, and to obtain other launch opportunities.  Such significant delays could materially and adversely affect our business, expenses and results of operations, our ability to meet regulatory or contractual required milestones, the availability and our use of other or replacement satellite resources and our ability to provide services to customers as capacity becomes full on existing satellites.  In addition, significant delays in a satellite program could give customers who have purchased or reserved capacity on that satellite a right to terminate their service contracts relating to the satellite.  We may not be able to accommodate affected customers on other satellites until a replacement satellite is available.  A customer’s termination of its service contracts with us as a result of a launch delay or failure would reduce our contracted backlog and our ability to generate revenue.  One of our launch services providers is a Russian Federation state-owned company.  Certain ongoing political events have created uncertainty as to the stability of U.S. and Russian Federation relations.  This could add to risks relative to scheduling uncertainties and timing.  If a launch delay, anomaly or failure were to occur, it could result in the revocation of the applicable license to operate the satellite, undermine our ability to implement our business strategy or develop or pursue existing or future business opportunities with applicable licenses and otherwise have a material adverse effect on our business, expenses, assets, revenue, results of operations and ability to fund future satellite procurement and launch opportunities.  Historically, we have not always carried launch insurance for the launch of our satellites and the occurrence of launch anomalies and failures, whether on our satellites or those of others, may significantly reduce our ability to place launch insurance for our satellites or make launch insurance uneconomical.
 
Our use of certain satellites is often dependent on satellite coordination agreements, which may be difficult to obtain.
 
Satellite transmissions and the use of frequencies often are dependent on coordination with other satellite systems operated by U.S. or foreign satellite operators, including governments, and it can be difficult to determine the outcome of these coordination agreements with these other entities and governments.  The impact of a coordination agreement may result in the loss of rights to the use of certain frequencies or access to certain markets.  The significance of such a loss would vary and it can therefore be difficult to determine which portion of our revenue will be impacted.

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In the event the international coordination process that is triggered by ITU filings under applicable rules is not successfully completed, or that the requests for modification of the BSS plan regarding the allocation of orbital locations and frequencies are not granted by the ITU, we will have to operate the applicable satellite(s) on a non-interference basis, which could have an adverse impact on our business operations.  If we cannot do so, we may have to cease operating such satellite(s) at the affected orbital locations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial position.  

Furthermore, the satellite coordination process is conducted under the guidance of the ITU radio regulations and the national regulations of the satellites involved in the coordination process.  These rules and regulations could be amended and could therefore materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
We may face interference from other services sharing satellite spectrum.
 
The FCC and other regulators have adopted rules or may adopt rules in the future that allow non-geostationary orbit satellite services to operate on a co-primary basis in the same frequency band as DBS and FSS.  The FCC has also authorized the use of multichannel video and data distribution service (“MVDDS”) in the DBS band.  Several MVDDS systems are now being commercially deployed.  Despite regulatory provisions designed to protect DBS and FSS operations from harmful interference, there can be no assurance that operations by other satellites or terrestrial communication services in the DBS and FSS bands will not interfere with our DBS and FSS operations and adversely affect our business.
 
Our dependence on outside contractors could result in delays related to the design, manufacture and launch of our new satellites, which could in turn adversely affect our operating results.
 
There are a limited number of manufacturers that are able to design and build satellites according to the technical specifications and standards of quality we require, including Airbus Defence and Space, Boeing Satellite Systems, Lockheed Martin, SSL and Thales Alenia Space.  There are also a limited number of launch service providers that are able to launch such satellites, including International Launch Services, Arianespace, Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services and Space Exploration.  The loss or failure to perform of any of our manufacturers or launch service providers could increase the cost and result in the delay of the design, construction or launch of our satellites.  Even if alternate suppliers for such services are available, we may have difficulty identifying them in a timely manner or we may incur significant additional expense in changing suppliers, and this could result in difficulties or delays in the design, construction or launch of our satellites.  Any delays in the design, construction or launch of our satellites could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGY
 
If we are unable to properly respond to technological changes, our business could be significantly harmed.
 
Our business and the markets in which we operate are characterized by rapid technological changes, evolving industry standards and frequent product and service introductions and enhancements.  If we or our suppliers are unable to properly respond to or keep pace with technological developments, fail to develop new technologies, or if our competitors obtain or develop proprietary technologies that are perceived by the market as being superior to ours, our existing products and services may become obsolete and demand for our products and services may decline.  Even if we keep up with technological innovation, we may not meet the demands of the markets we serve.  Furthermore, after we have incurred substantial research and development costs, one or more of the technologies under our development, or under development by one or more of our strategic partners, could become obsolete prior to its introduction.  If we are unable to respond to or keep pace with technological advances on a cost-effective and timely basis, or if our products, applications or services are not accepted by the market, then our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
 
Our response to technological developments depends, to a significant degree, on the work of technically skilled employees.  Competition for the services of such employees is intense.  Although we strive to attract, retain and motivate these employees, we may not succeed in these respects.
 
We have made and will continue to make significant investments in research, development, and marketing for new products, services, satellites and related technologies, as well as entry into new business areas.  Investments in new technologies, satellites and business areas are inherently speculative and commercial success thereof depends on numerous factors including innovativeness, quality of service and support, and effectiveness of sales and marketing.  We may not achieve revenue or profitability from such investments for a number of years, if at all.  Moreover, even if such products, services, satellites, technologies and business areas become profitable, their operating margins may be minimal.

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Our future growth depends on growing demand for advanced technologies.
 
Future demand and effective delivery for our products will depend significantly on the growing demand for advanced technologies, such as broadband internet connectivity.  If the deployment of, or demand for, advanced technologies is not as widespread or as rapid as we or our customers expect, our revenue growth will be negatively impacted.
 
Our business depends on certain intellectual property rights and on not infringing the intellectual property rights of others.  The loss of our intellectual property rights or our infringement of the intellectual property rights of others could have a significant adverse impact on our business.
 
We rely on our patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, as well as licenses and other agreements with our vendors and other parties, to use our technologies, conduct our operations and sell our products and services.  Legal challenges to our intellectual property rights and claims by third parties of intellectual property infringement could require that we enter into royalty or licensing agreements on unfavorable terms, incur substantial monetary liability or be enjoined preliminarily or permanently from further use of the intellectual property in question or from the continuation of our businesses as currently conducted or as we plan to conduct it, which could require us to change our business practices or limit our ability to compete effectively or could otherwise have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or prospects.  Even if any such challenges or claims prove to be without merit, they can be time-consuming and costly to defend and may divert management’s attention and resources away from our business.
 
Moreover, due to the rapid pace of technological change, we rely in part on technologies developed or licensed by third parties, and if we are unable to obtain or continue to obtain licenses or other required intellectual property rights from these third parties on reasonable terms, our business, financial position and results of operations could be adversely affected.  Technology licensed from third parties may have undetected errors that impair the functionality or prevent the successful integration of our products or services.  As a result of any such changes or loss, we may need to incur additional development costs to ensure continued performance of our products or suffer delays until replacement technology, if available, can be obtained and integrated.
 
In addition, we work with third parties such as vendors, contractors and suppliers for the development and manufacture of components that are integrated into our products and our products may contain technologies provided to us by these third parties.  We may have little or no ability to determine in advance whether any such technology infringes the intellectual property rights of others.  Our vendors, contractors and suppliers may not be required to indemnify us in the event that a claim of infringement is asserted against us, or they may be required to indemnify us only up to a maximum amount, above which we would be responsible for any further costs or damages.  Legal challenges to these intellectual property rights may impair our ability to use the products and technologies that we need in order to operate our business and may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
We are, and may become, party to various lawsuits which, if adversely decided, could have a significant adverse impact on our business, particularly lawsuits regarding intellectual property.
 
We are, and may become, subject to various legal proceedings and claims, which arise both in and out of the ordinary course of our business.  Many entities, including some of our competitors, have or may in the future obtain patents and other intellectual property rights that cover or affect products or services related to those that we offer.  In general, if a court determines that one or more of our products or services infringes valid intellectual property rights held by others, we may be required to cease developing or marketing those products or services, to obtain licenses from the holders of the intellectual property at a material cost, to pay damages or to redesign those products or services in such a way as to avoid infringement.  If those intellectual property rights are held by a competitor, we may be unable to license the necessary intellectual property rights at any price, which could adversely affect our competitive position.
 
We may not be aware of all patents and other intellectual property rights that our products and services may potentially infringe.  In addition, patent applications in the U.S. and foreign countries are confidential until the Patent and Trademark Office either publishes the application or issues a patent (whichever arises first) and, accordingly, our products may infringe claims contained in pending patent applications of which we are not aware.  Further, the process of determining definitively whether a patent claim is valid and whether a particular product infringes a valid patent claim often involves expensive and protracted litigation, even if we are ultimately successful on the merits.
 
We cannot estimate the extent to which we may be required in the future to obtain licenses with respect to intellectual property rights held by others and the availability and cost of any such licenses.  Those costs, and their impact on our results of

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operations, could be material.  Damages in patent infringement cases can be substantial, and in certain circumstances, can be trebled.  To the extent that we are required to pay unanticipated royalties to third parties, these increased costs of doing business could negatively affect our liquidity and operating results.  We are currently defending patent infringement actions and may assert our own actions against parties we suspect of infringing our patents and trademarks.  We cannot be certain the courts will conclude these companies do not own the rights they claim, that these rights are not valid, or that our products and services do not infringe on these rights.  We also cannot be certain that we will be able to obtain licenses from these persons on commercially reasonable terms or, if we were unable to obtain such licenses, that we would be able to redesign our products and services to avoid infringement.  The legal costs associated with defending patent suits and pursuing patent claims against others may be borne by us if we are not awarded reimbursement through the legal process.  See further discussion under Item 1. - Business — Patents and Trademarks and Item 3. - Legal Proceedings of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Future litigation or governmental proceedings could result in material adverse consequences, including judgments or settlements.
 
We may become involved in lawsuits, regulatory inquiries, consumer claims and governmental and other legal proceedings arising from of our business, including new products and services that we may offer.  Some of these proceedings may raise difficult and complicated factual and legal issues and can be subject to uncertainties and complexities.  The timing of the final resolutions to lawsuits, regulatory inquiries, and governmental and other legal proceedings is typically uncertain.  Additionally, the possible outcomes of, or resolutions to, these proceedings could include adverse judgments, settlements, injunctions or liabilities, any of which could require substantial payments or have other adverse impacts on our revenue, results of operations or cash flow.
 
If the encryption and related security technology used in our products is compromised, sales of our products may decline.

Our customers use encryption and related security technology obtained from us or our suppliers in the products that they purchase from us to protect their data and products from unauthorized access to the features or functionalities of such products. Such encryption and related security technology has been compromised in the past and may be compromised in the future even though we continue to respond with significant investment in security measures, such as updates in security software, that are intended to make data theft more difficult. It has been our prior experience that security measures may only be effective for short periods of time or not at all. We cannot ensure that we will be successful in reducing or controlling theft of our customers’ data. As a result, sales of our products may decline, our reputation and customer relationship could be damaged and we may incur additional costs or financial liability in the future if security of our customers’ system is compromised.

We rely on network and information systems and other technologies and a disruption, cyber-attack, failure or destruction of such networks, systems or technologies may disrupt or harm our business and damage our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and operating results.
 
The capacity, reliability and security of our information technology hardware and software infrastructure are important to the operation of our business, which would suffer in the event of system disruptions or failures due to events such as computer hackings, cyber-attacks, computer viruses, ransomware, unauthorized access, denial of service attacks or other malicious, destructive or disruptive events.  Security breaches, attacks, viruses, unauthorized access and other malicious, destructive or disruptive events or activities have significantly increased in recent years, and some of them have involved sophisticated and highly targeted attacks on computer networks.  Our networks, systems and technologies and those of our third-party service providers and our customers may also be vulnerable to such security breaches, attacks, malicious activities and unauthorized access, resulting in misappropriation, misuse, leakage, corruption, unscheduled downtime, falsification and accidental or intentional release or loss of information maintained on our and our third party service providers’ information technology systems and networks, including but not limited to customer, personnel and vendor data.  If such risks were to materialize, we could be exposed to significant costs and interruptions, delays or malfunctions in our operations, any of which could damage our reputation and credibility and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.  We may also be required to expend significant resources to protect against these threats or to alleviate problems, including reputational harm and litigation, caused by any breaches.  Although we have significantly invested in and continue to implement generally recognized security measures, these measures may prove to be inadequate and we could be subject to regulatory penalties, fines, sanctions, enforcement actions, remediation obligations, and/or private litigation by parties whose information was improperly accessed, disclosed or misused which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.  Furthermore, the amount and scope of insurance that we maintain against losses resulting from these events may not be sufficient to compensate us adequately for any disruptions to our business or otherwise cover our losses, including reputational harm and negative publicity as well as any litigation liability.  In addition, our ability to expand and update our information technology infrastructure in response to our growth and changing needs is important to the

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continued implementation of our new service offering initiatives.  A security breach or attack could impact our ability to expand or upgrade our technology infrastructure which could have adverse consequences, including the delayed implementation of new offerings, product or service interruptions, and the diversion of development resources.
 
If our products contain defects, we could be subject to significant costs to correct such defects and our product and network service contracts could be delayed or cancelled, which could adversely affect our revenue.
 
The products and the networks we deploy are highly complex, and some may contain defects when first introduced or when new versions or enhancements are released, despite testing and our quality control procedures.  For example, our products may contain software “bugs” that can unexpectedly interfere with their operation.  Defects may also occur in components and products that we purchase from third parties.  In addition, many of our products and network services are designed to interface with our customers’ existing networks, each of which has different specifications and utilize multiple protocol standards.  Our products and services must interoperate with the other products and services within our customers’ networks, as well as with future products and services that might be added to these networks, to meet our customers’ requirements.  There can be no assurance that we will be able to detect and fix all defects in the products and networks we sell.  The occurrence of any defects, errors or failures in our products or network services could result in: (i) additional costs to correct such defects; (ii) cancellation of orders and lost revenue; (iii) a reduction in revenue backlog; (iv) product returns or recalls; (v) diversion of our resources; (vi) the issuance of credits to customers and other losses to us, our customers or end-users; (vii) liability for harm to persons and property caused by defects in or failures of our products or services; and (viii) harm to our reputation if we fail to detect or effectively address such issues through design, testing or warranty repairs.  Any of these occurrences could also result in the loss of or delay in market acceptance of our products and services and loss of sales, which would harm our reputation and our business and materially adversely affect our revenue and profitability.
 
RISKS RELATED TO THE REGULATION OF OUR BUSINESS
 
Our business is subject to risks of adverse government regulation.
 
Our business is subject to varying degrees of regulation in the U.S. by the FCC, and other federal, state and local entities, and in foreign countries by similar entities and internationally by the ITU.  These regulations are subject to the administrative and political process and do change, for political and other reasons, from time to time and may limit or constrain and/or have other adverse effects on and implications for our business and operations.  The United States and foreign countries in which we currently, or may in the future, operate may not authorize us access to all of the spectrum that we need to provide service in a particular country. Moreover, the U.S. and a substantial number of foreign countries in which we have, or may in the future make, an investment, regulate, in varying degrees, the ownership of satellites and other telecommunication facilities/networks and foreign investment in telecommunications companies.  Violations of laws or regulations may result in various sanctions including fines, loss of authorizations and the denial of applications for new authorizations or for the renewal of existing authorizations.  Further material changes in law and regulatory requirements may also occur, and there can be no assurance that our business and the business of our subsidiaries and affiliates will not be adversely affected by future legislation, new regulation or deregulation.  The failure to obtain or comply with the authorizations and regulations governing our operations could have a material adverse effect on our ability to generate revenue and our overall competitive position and could result in our suffering serious harm to our reputation.
 
Our business depends on regulatory authorizations issued by the FCC and state and foreign regulators that can expire, be revoked or modified, and applications for licenses and other authorizations that may not be granted.
 
Generally all satellite, earth stations and other licenses granted by the FCC and most other countries are subject to expiration unless renewed by the regulatory agency.  Our satellite licenses are currently set to expire at various times.  In addition, we occasionally receive special temporary authorizations that are granted for limited periods of time (e.g., 180 days or less) and subject to possible renewal.  Generally, our licenses and special temporary authorizations have been renewed on a routine basis, but there can be no assurance that this will continue.  In addition, we must obtain new licenses from the FCC and other countries’ regulators for the operation of new satellites that we may build and/or acquire. There can be no assurance that the FCC or other regulators will continue granting applications for new licenses or for the renewal of existing ones.  If the FCC or other regulators were to cancel, revoke, suspend, or fail to renew any of our licenses or authorizations, or fail to grant our applications for FCC or other licenses, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.  Specifically, loss of a frequency authorization or limitations on our ability to use the frequencies we currently use and/or intend to use in the future would reduce the amount of spectrum available to us, potentially reducing the amount of services we provide to our customers.  The significance of such a loss of authorizations would vary based upon, among other things, the orbital location, the frequency band and the availability of replacement spectrum.  In addition, the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government and foreign governments often consider legislation and regulatory requirements that

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could affect us, as could the actions that the FCC and foreign regulatory bodies take.  We cannot predict the outcomes of these legislative or regulatory proceedings or their effect on our business.
 
In addition, third parties have or may oppose some of our license applications and pending and future requests for extensions, modifications, waivers and approvals of our licenses.  Even if we have fully complied with all of the required reporting, filing and other requirements in connection with our authorizations, it is possible a regulator could decline to grant certain of our applications or requests for authority, or could revoke, terminate, condition or decline to modify, extend or renew certain of our authorizations or licenses.
 
We may face difficulties in accurately assessing and collecting contributions towards the Universal Service Fund.
 
Because our customer contracts often include both telecommunications services, which create obligations to contribute to the USF, and other goods and services, which do not, it can be difficult to determine what portion of our revenue forms the basis for our required contribution to the USF and the amount that we can recover from our customers.  If the FCC, which oversees the USF, or a court or other governmental entity were to determine that we computed our USF contribution obligation incorrectly or passed the wrong amount onto our customers, we could become subject to additional assessments, liabilities, or other financial penalties.  In addition, the FCC is considering substantial changes to its USF contribution and distribution rules.  These changes could impact our future contribution obligations and those of third parties that provide communication services to our business.  Any such change to the USF contribution rules could adversely affect our costs of providing service to our customers.  In addition, changes to the USF distribution rules could intensify the competition we face by offering subsidies to competing firms and/or technologies.

Restrictions on immigration or increased enforcement of immigration laws could limit our access to qualified and skilled professionals, increase our cost of doing business or otherwise disrupt our operations.

The success of our business is dependent on our ability to recruit engineers and other professionals. Immigration laws in the countries in which we operate are subject to legislative changes, as well as variations in the standards of application and enforcement due to political forces and economic conditions. It is difficult to predict the political and economic events that could affect immigration laws, or the restrictive impact they could have on obtaining or renewing work visas for our professionals. If immigration laws are changed or if new more restrictive government regulations are enacted or increased, our access to qualified and skilled professionals may be limited, the costs of doing business may increase and our operations may be disrupted.

RISKS RELATED TO THE SHARE EXCHANGE

We might not be able to engage in certain strategic transactions because we have agreed to certain restrictions to comply with U.S. federal income tax requirements for a tax-free split-off.

To preserve the intended tax-free treatment of the Share Exchange we must comply with certain restrictions under current U.S. federal income tax laws for split-offs, including (i) refraining from engaging in certain transactions that would result in a fifty percent or greater change by vote or by value in our stock ownership, (ii) continuing to own and manage our historic businesses, and (iii) limiting sales or redemptions of our and our subsidiary Hughes Satellite Systems Corporation’s common stock. If these restrictions, among others, are not followed, the Share Exchange could be taxable to us and possibly our stockholders. In addition, we could be required to indemnify DISH Network for any tax liability incurred by DISH Network as a result of our non-compliance with these restrictions.

OTHER RISKS
 
We are controlled by one principal stockholder who is our Chairman.
 
Charles W. Ergen, our Chairman, beneficially owns approximately 45.9% of our total equity securities (assuming conversion of only the Class B common stock beneficially owned by Mr. Ergen into Class A common stock and giving effect to the exercise of options held by Mr. Ergen that are either currently exercisable or may become exercisable within 60 days of February 12, 2018) and beneficially owns approximately 72.4% of the total voting power of all classes of shares (assuming no conversion of any Class B common stock and giving effect to the exercise of options held by Mr. Ergen that are either currently exercisable or may become exercisable within 60 days of February 12, 2018).  Mr. Ergen’s beneficial ownership excludes 1,640 shares of our Class A common stock and 9,777,751 shares of our Class A common stock issuable upon conversion of shares of our Class B common stock, in each case, currently held by certain trusts established by Mr. Ergen for the benefit of his family.  These trusts beneficially own approximately 16.9% of our total equity securities (assuming conversion of only the Class B common stock

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held by such trusts into Class A common stock) and beneficially own approximately 18.6% of the total voting power of all classes of shares (assuming no conversion of any Class B common stock).  Through his beneficial ownership of our equity securities, Mr. Ergen has the ability to elect a majority of our directors and to control all other matters requiring the approval of our stockholders.  As a result of Mr. Ergen’s voting power, we are a “controlled company” as defined in the Nasdaq listing rules and, therefore, are not subject to Nasdaq requirements that would otherwise require us to have (i) a majority of independent directors; (ii) a nominating committee composed solely of independent directors; (iii) compensation of our executive officers determined by a majority of the independent directors or a compensation committee composed solely of independent directors; (iv) a compensation committee charter which provides the compensation committee with the authority and funding to retain compensation consultants and other advisors and/or (v) director nominees selected, or recommended for the Board’s selection, either by a majority of the independent directors or a nominating committee composed solely of independent directors.

We have potential conflicts of interest with DISH Network due to our common ownership.
 
Questions relating to conflicts of interest may arise between DISH Network and us in a number of areas relating to our past and ongoing relationships.  Areas in which conflicts of interest between DISH Network and us could arise include, but are not limited to, the following:
 
Cross directorships and stock ownership.  We have certain overlap in our directors and Chairman position with DISH Network, which may lead to conflicting interests.  Our board of directors includes persons who are members of the board of directors of DISH Network, including Charles W. Ergen, who serves as the Chairman of and is employed by both companies.  Our Chairman and the other members of our board of directors who overlap with DISH Network also have fiduciary duties to DISH Network’s shareholders.  Therefore, these individuals may have actual or apparent conflicts of interest with respect to matters involving or affecting each company.  For example, there is potential for a conflict of interest when we or DISH Network look at acquisitions and other corporate opportunities that may be suitable for both companies.  In addition, many of our directors and officers own DISH Network stock and options to purchase DISH Network stock, certain of which they acquired or were granted prior to the Spin-off, including Mr. Ergen. These ownership interests could create actual, apparent or potential conflicts of interest when these individuals are faced with decisions that could have different implications for our company and DISH Network.  
Intercompany agreements with DISH NetworkWe have entered into various agreements with DISH Network.  Pursuant to certain agreements, we obtain certain products, services and rights from DISH Network; DISH Network obtains certain products, services and rights from us; and we and DISH Network indemnify each other against certain liabilities arising from our respective businesses. Generally, the amounts we or DISH Network pay for products and services provided under the agreements are based on cost plus a fixed margin, which varies depending on the nature of the products and services provided.  Certain other intercompany agreements cover matters such as tax sharing and our responsibility for certain liabilities previously undertaken by DISH Network for certain of our businesses.  We have also entered into certain commercial agreements with DISH Network.  The terms of certain of these agreements were established while we were a wholly-owned subsidiary of DISH Network and were not the result of arm’s length negotiations.  The allocation of assets, liabilities, rights, indemnifications and other obligations between DISH Network and us under the separation and ancillary agreements we entered into with DISH Network in connection with the Spin-Off and the Share Exchange did not necessarily reflect what two unaffiliated parties might have agreed to.  Had these agreements been negotiated with unaffiliated third parties, their terms may have been more favorable, or less favorable, to us.  In addition, DISH Network or its affiliates will likely continue to enter into transactions with us or our subsidiaries or other affiliates.  Although the terms of any such transactions will be established based upon negotiations between DISH Network and us and, when appropriate, subject to approval by the non-interlocking directors or in certain instances non-interlocking management, there can be no assurance that the terms of any such transactions will be as favorable to us or our subsidiaries or affiliates as may otherwise be obtained in negotiations between unaffiliated third parties.
Competition for business opportunities.  DISH Network may have interests in various companies that have subsidiaries or controlled affiliates that own or operate domestic or foreign services that may compete with services offered by our businesses.  DISH Network also has a distribution agreement with ViaSat, a competitor of our Hughes segment, to sell services similar to those offered by our Hughes segment.  We may also compete with DISH Network when we participate in auctions for spectrum or orbital slots for our satellites.
 
We may not be able to resolve any potential conflicts of interest with DISH Network and, even if we do so, the resolution may be less favorable to us than if we were dealing with an unaffiliated party.
 

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We do not have any agreements not to compete with DISH Network.  However, many of our potential customers who compete with DISH Network have historically perceived us as a competitor due to our affiliation with DISH Network.  There can be no assurance that we will be successful in entering into any commercial relationships with potential customers who are competitors of DISH Network (particularly if we continue to be perceived as affiliated with DISH Network as a result of common ownership, certain shared management services and other arrangements with DISH Network).
 
It may be difficult for a third party to acquire us, even if doing so may be beneficial to our shareholders, because of our capital structure.
 
Certain provisions of our articles of incorporation and bylaws may discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company that a shareholder may consider favorable.  These provisions include the following:
 
a capital structure with multiple classes of common stock:  a Class A that entitles the holders to one vote per share; a Class B that entitles the holders to ten votes per share; a Class C that entitles the holders to one vote per share, except upon a change in control of our company in which case the holders of Class C are entitled to ten votes per share; and a non-voting Class D;
a provision that authorizes the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock, which could be issued by our board of directors to increase the number of outstanding shares and thwart a takeover attempt;
a provision limiting who may call special meetings of shareholders; and
a provision establishing advance notice requirements for nominations of candidates for election to our board of directors or for proposing matters that can be acted upon by shareholders at shareholder meetings.
 
In addition, Charles W. Ergen, our Chairman, beneficially owns approximately 45.9% of our total equity securities (assuming conversion of only the Class B common stock beneficially owned by Mr. Ergen into Class A common stock and giving effect to the exercise of options held by Mr. Ergen that are either currently exercisable or may become exercisable within 60 days of February 12, 2018) and beneficially owns approximately 72.4% of the total voting power of all classes of shares (assuming no conversion of any Class B common stock and giving effect to the exercise of options held by Mr. Ergen that are either currently exercisable or may become exercisable within 60 days of February 12, 2018). Through his beneficial ownership of our equity securities, Mr. Ergen has the power to elect all of our directors and control shareholder decision on matters on which all classes of our common stock vote together.

In addition, pursuant to our articles of incorporation we have a significant amount of authorized and unissued stock that would allow our board of directors to issue shares to persons friendly to current management, thereby protecting the continuity of management, or which could be used to dilute the stock ownership of persons seeking to obtain control of us.
 
Our articles of incorporation designate the Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County of the State of Nevada as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers, employees or agents.

Our articles of incorporation provide that, unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum, the Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County of the State of Nevada will be the sole and exclusive forum for any and all actions, suits or proceedings, whether civil, administrative or investigative or that asserts any claim or counterclaim brought in our name or on our behalf, asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by any of our directors, officers, employees or agents to us or our stockholders, arising or asserting a claim arising pursuant to any provision of the Nevada Restated Statutes Chapters 78 or 92A, our articles of incorporation or our bylaws, interpreting, applying, enforcing or determining the validity of our articles of incorporation or bylaws or asserting a claim that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. Any person purchasing or otherwise acquiring any interest in any shares of our capital stock shall be deemed to have notice of and to have consented to this provision of our articles of incorporation. This choice of forum provision may limit our stockholders’ ability to bring certain claims, including claims against our directors, officers or employees, in a judicial forum that the stockholder finds favorable and therefore the choice of forum provision may discourage lawsuits with respect to such claims. Stockholders who do bring a claim in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County could face additional litigation costs in pursuing any such claim, particularly if they do not reside in or near Nevada. The Eighth Judicial District Court of Clark County may also reach different judgments or results than would other courts, including courts where a stockholder considering an action may be located or would otherwise choose to bring the action, and such judgments or results may be more favorable to us than to our stockholders. Alternatively, if a court were to find this provision of our articles of incorporation inapplicable to, or unenforceable in respect of, one or more of the specified types of actions or proceedings, we may incur additional costs

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associated with resolving such matters in other jurisdictions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Changes in United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) could adversely affect our reported financial results and may require significant changes to our internal accounting systems and processes.

We prepare our consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP. These principles are subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”), the SEC and various bodies formed to interpret and create appropriate accounting principles and guidance.

The FASB is currently working together with the International Accounting Standards Board to converge certain accounting principles and facilitate more comparable financial reporting between companies that are required to follow GAAP and those that are required to follow International Financial Reporting Standards. In connection with this initiative, the FASB issued new accounting standards for revenue recognition and accounting for leases. For information regarding new accounting standards, please refer to Note 2 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report under the heading “New Accounting Pronouncements.” These and other such standards may result in different accounting principles, which may significantly impact our reported results or could result in volatility of our financial results. In addition, we may need to significantly change our customer and vendor contracts, accounting systems and processes. The cost and effect of these changes may adversely impact our results of operations.

We may face other risks described from time to time in periodic and current reports we file with the SEC.

Item 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
None.
 

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Item 2.    PROPERTIES
 
Our principal executive offices are located at 100 Inverness Terrace East, Englewood, Colorado 80112-5308 and our telephone number is (303) 706-4000.  The following table sets forth certain information concerning our principal properties related to our Hughes segment (“Hughes”) and EchoStar Satellite Services segment (“ESS”) and to our other operations and administrative functions (“Other”) as of December 31, 2017We operate various facilities in the U.S. and abroad.  We believe that our facilities are well maintained and are sufficient to meet our current and projected needs. 
Location (3)(4) 
 
Segment(s)
 
Leased/
Owned
 
Function
San Diego, California
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Engineering and sales offices
Englewood, Colorado (1)(4)
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Gateways
Gaithersburg, Maryland
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Manufacturing and testing facilities, engineering and logistics and administrative offices
Southfield, Michigan (1)
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Shared hub and regional network management center
Las Vegas, Nevada (1)
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Shared hub, antennae yards, gateway, backup network operation and control center for Hughes corporate headquarters
American Fork, Utah
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Office space, engineering offices
Sao Paulo, Brazil
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Hughes Brazil corporate headquarters, sales offices, and warehouse
Bangalore, India (2)
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Engineering office and office space
Gurgaon, India (1)(2)
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Administrative offices, shared hub, operations, warehouse, and development center
New Delhi, India
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Hughes India corporate headquarters
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom (3)
 
Hughes
 
Leased
 
Hughes Europe corporate headquarters and operations
Germantown, Maryland (1)
 
Hughes
 
Owned
 
Hughes corporate headquarters, engineering offices, network operations and shared hubs
Griesheim, Germany (1)
 
Hughes
 
Owned
 
Shared hub, operations, administrative offices and warehouse
Cheyenne, Wyoming (1)
 
Hughes/ESS
 
Leased
 
Spacecraft operations center, satellite access center and gateway
Gilbert, Arizona (1)
 
Hughes/ESS
 
Leased
 
Spacecraft operations center, satellite access center and gateway
Barueri, Brazil (1)
 
Hughes/ESS
 
Leased
 
Shared hub, warehouse, operations center and spacecraft operations center
Black Hawk, South Dakota (1)
 
ESS
 
Owned
 
Spacecraft auto-track operations center
Englewood, Colorado
 
ESS/Other
 
Owned
 
Corporate headquarters, engineering offices
Campinas, Brazil
 
Other
 
Leased
 
Uplink facility
Cheyenne, Wyoming
 
Other
 
Owned
 
Data Center
 _______________________________________________________
(1)
We perform network services and customer support functions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at these locations.
(2)
These properties are used by subsidiaries that are less than wholly-owned by the Company.
(3)
We also have multiple gateways throughout the EU that support the EchoStar XXI satellite.
(4)
We have multiple gateways throughout the Western part of the U.S., Mexico and Canada that support the SPACEWAY 3, EchoStar XVII, and EchoStar XIX satellites.

Item 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

For a discussion of legal proceedings, see Note 16 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report.

Item 4.    MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
 
Not applicable.

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PART II

Item 5.    MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
 
Market Price of and Dividends on the Registrant’s Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters
 
Market Information.  Our Class A common stock is quoted on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) under the symbol “SATS.”  The high and low closing sale prices of our Class A common stock during 2017 and 2016 on Nasdaq (as reported by Nasdaq) are set forth below.
2017
 
High
 
Low
First Quarter
 
$
56.95

 
$
50.92

Second Quarter
 
$
62.25

 
$
55.41

Third Quarter
 
$
61.49

 
$
56.13

Fourth Quarter
 
$
60.65

 
$
52.48

2016
 
High
 
Low
First Quarter
 
$
45.89

 
$
33.39

Second Quarter
 
$
43.94

 
$
37.25

Third Quarter
 
$
43.83

 
$
36.91

Fourth Quarter
 
$
53.35

 
$
43.60

 
Holders.  As of February 12, 2018, there were approximately 8,440 holders of record of our Class A common stock, not including stockholders who beneficially own Class A common stock held in nominee or street name.  As of February 12, 2018, there were 47,687,039 shares outstanding of our Class B common stock of which: (i) 22,309,288 shares were held by Charles W. Ergen, our Chairman, (ii) 15,600,000 shares were held in trusts established for the benefit of Mr. Ergen’s family, with Mr. Ergen’s spouse, Cantey Ergen, serving as trustee, (iii) and the remaining 9,777,751 shares were held in other trusts established for the benefit of Mr. Ergen’s family.  There is currently no established trading market for our Class B common stock.
 
Dividends.  We have not paid any cash dividends on our common stock in the past two years.  We currently do not intend to declare dividends on our common stock.  Payment of any future dividends will depend upon our earnings, capital requirements, contractual restrictions and other factors the board of directors considers appropriate.  We currently intend to retain our earnings, if any, to support future growth and expansion although we may repurchase shares of our common stock from time to time.  Our ability to declare dividends is affected by covenants in HSS’ indentures. See further discussion under Item 7. — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans.  See Item 12. — Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
 
Pursuant to a stock repurchase program approved by our board of directors, we are authorized to repurchase up to $500.0 million of our outstanding shares of Class A common stock through December 31, 2018.  During the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, we did not repurchase any common stock under this program.


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Item 6.    SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
 
The accompanying consolidated financial statements for 2017 included in our consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”).  Certain prior period amounts have been adjusted to conform to the current period presentation.
 
The following tables present selected information relating to our consolidated financial condition and results of operations for the past five years.  The selected financial data should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related notes thereto, and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this report. Historical financial data presented below may not be indicative of future financial condition. See Notes 1, 3 and 19 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report for further discussion of the Share Exchange transaction.
 
 
For the Years Ended December 31,
Statements of Operations Data:
 
2017(1)
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014 (2)
 
2013 (2)
 
 
(In thousands, except per share amounts)
Total revenue (3)
 
$
1,885,508

 
$
1,810,466

 
$
1,848,857

 
$
1,822,238

 
$
1,556,275

Total costs and expenses (3)
 
1,689,201

 
1,514,303

 
1,575,092

 
1,611,678

 
1,544,986

Operating income (3)
 
$
196,307

 
$
296,163

 
$
273,765

 
$
210,560

 
$
11,289

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss) from continuing operations to EchoStar common stock
 
$
385,261

 
$
137,353

 
$
102,421

 
$
73,151

 
$
(52,987
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic earnings (loss) per share - continuing operations
 
$
4.04

 
$
1.46

 
$
1.11

 
$
0.80

 
$
(0.59
)
Diluted earnings (loss) per share - continuing operations
 
$
3.98

 
$
1.45

 
$
1.10

 
$
0.79

 
$
(0.58
)
 
 
As of December 31,
Balance Sheet Data:
 
2017(1)
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014 (2)
 
2013 (2)
 
 
(In thousands)
Cash, cash equivalents and current marketable securities
 
$
3,245,617

 
$
3,092,881

 
$
1,527,883

 
$
1,669,590

 
$
1,554,174

Total assets (4)
 
$
8,750,014

 
$
9,008,859

 
$
6,572,463

 
$
6,601,292

 
$
5,943,007

Total debt and capital lease obligations
 
$
3,634,844

 
$
3,655,447

 
$
2,185,272

 
$
2,326,143

 
$
2,374,088

Total stockholders’ equity
 
$
4,177,385

 
$
4,006,805

 
$
3,781,642

 
$
3,623,638

 
$
3,226,231

 
 
For the Years Ended December 31,
Cash Flow Data:
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014 (2)
 
2013 (2)
 
 
(In thousands)
Net cash flows from:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Operating activities
 
$
726,892

 
$
803,343

 
$
776,451

 
$
840,131

 
$
450,507

Investing activities
 
$
(868,002
)
 
$
(632,267
)
 
$
(275,311
)
 
$
(887,590
)
 
$
(570,289
)
Financing activities
 
$
72

 
$
1,475,689

 
$
(120,257
)
 
$
(35,096
)
 
$
18,326

(1)
The 2017 Tax Act increased the complexity of our income tax accounting and resulted in significant adjustments to our deferred income tax accounts in 2017. As a result, our results of operations and balance sheet data for the years ended December 31, 2017 are not comparable to our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013. See Note 12 to our consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report for further information.
(2)
In March 2014, we issued preferred tracking stock to DISH Network in exchange for five satellites and $11.4 million in cash.  Please see Note 19 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report.  As a result, our results of operations and balance sheet data for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 are not comparable to our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2013.
(3)
As a result of the Share Exchange, the consolidated financial statements of the EchoStar Technologies businesses have been presented as discontinued operations and, as such, have been excluded from the selected financial data presented above for all periods presented. See Note 3 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report for further discussion of our discontinued operations.
(4)
In 2015, we prospectively adopted Accounting Standard Update No. 2015-17, Balance Sheet Classification of Deferred Taxes.  As a result, our total assets as of December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 is not comparable to our total assets as reported in prior years.



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Item 7.    MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 
Unless the context indicates otherwise, as used herein, the terms “we,” “us,” “EchoStar,” the “Company” and “our” refer to EchoStar Corporation and its subsidiaries.  References to “$” are to United States dollars.  The following management’s discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes to our financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  This management’s discussion and analysis is intended to help provide an understanding of our financial condition, changes in our financial condition and our results of operations.  Many of the statements in this management’s discussion and analysis are forward-looking statements that involve assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that are often difficult to predict and beyond our control.  Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  See “Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for further discussion.  For a discussion of additional risks, uncertainties and other factors that could impact our results of operations or financial condition, see the caption “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  Further, such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and we undertake no obligation to update them.
 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 
EchoStar is a global provider of satellite service operations, video delivery solutions, broadband satellite technologies and broadband internet services for home and small office customers. We also deliver innovative network technologies, managed services, and various communications solutions for aeronautical, enterprise and government customers.

Prior to March 2017, we operated in three primary business segments, Hughes, EchoStar Technologies and EchoStar Satellite Services (“ESS”). On January 31, 2017, we and certain of our subsidiaries entered into a Share Exchange Agreement (the “Share Exchange Agreement”) with DISH Network Corporation (“DISH”) and certain of its subsidiaries. Pursuant to the Share Exchange Agreement, on February 28, 2017, among other things, we and certain of our subsidiaries received all of the shares of the Tracking Stock in exchange for 100% of the equity interests of certain EchoStar subsidiaries that held substantially all of our EchoStar Technologies businesses and certain other assets (collectively, the “Share Exchange”). Our former EchoStar Technologies businesses designed, developed and distributed secure end-to-end video technology solutions including digital set-top boxes and related products and technology, primarily for satellite TV service providers and telecommunication companies and provided digital broadcast operations, including satellite uplinking/downlinking, transmission services, signal processing, conditional access management, and other services. Following consummation of the Share Exchange, we no longer operate the EchoStar Technologies businesses, the Tracking Stock was retired and is no longer outstanding and all agreements, arrangements and policy statements with respect to the Tracking Stock terminated and are of no further effect. As a result of the Share Exchange, the consolidated financial statements of the EchoStar Technologies businesses have been presented as discontinued operations and, as such, have been excluded from continuing operations and segment results for all periods presented. See Note 3 in the notes to consolidated financial statements in Item 15 of this report for further discussion of our discontinued operations.

As a consequence, we currently operate in two business segments, which are differentiated primarily by their operational focus:  Hughes and ESS. These segments are consistent with the way decisions regarding the allocation of resources are made, as well as how operating results are reviewed by our chief operating decision maker (“CODM”), who for EchoStar is the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.

In addition, as of March 2017, we also changed our overhead allocation methodology used in our segment disclosures to reflect how the CODM evaluates our segments. Historically, the costs of all corporate functions were included on an allocated basis in each of the business segments’ EBITDA. Under the revised allocation methodology, these costs are now reported and analyzed as part of “Corporate and Other” (previously “All Other and Eliminations”). Our prior period segment EBITDA disclosures have been restated to reflect this change.

Our operations also include various corporate departments (primarily Executive, Strategic Development, Human Resources, IT, Finance, Real Estate and Legal) as well as other activities that have not been assigned to our operating segments, including costs incurred in certain satellite development programs and other business development activities, our centralized treasury operations, and gains (losses) from certain of our investments. These activities are accounted for in “Corporate and Other.”
 

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Item 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS - Continued


Highlights from our financial results are as follows:
 
Consolidated Results of Operations for the Year Ended December 31, 2017

 Revenue of $1.89 billion
Operating income of $196.3 million
Net income from continuing operations of $385.0 million
 Net income attributable to EchoStar common stock of $393.8 million and basic earnings per share of common stock of $4.13
EBITDA of $794.6 million (see reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure on page 45)
 
Consolidated Financial Condition as of December 31, 2017

Total assets of $8.75 billion
Total liabilities of $4.57 billion
Total stockholders’ equity of $4.18 billion
Cash, cash equivalents and current marketable investment securities of $3.25 billion
 
Hughes Segment
 
Our Hughes segment is a global provider of broadband satellite technologies and broadband internet services to domestic and international home and small office customers and broadband network technologies, managed services, equipment, hardware, satellite services and communications solutions to domestic and international consumers and aeronautical, enterprise and government customers. The Hughes segment also designs, provides and installs gateway and terminal equipment to customers for other satellite systems. In addition, our Hughes segment provides satellite ground segment systems and terminals to mobile system operators.
 
We continue to focus our efforts on growing our consumer revenue by maximizing utilization of our existing satellites while planning for new satellites to be launched. Our consumer revenue growth depends on our success in adding new and retaining existing subscribers in our domestic and international markets across our wholesale and retail channels. The growth of our enterprise, including aeronautical, businesses relies heavily on global economic conditions and the competitive landscape for pricing relative to competitors and alternative technologies. Service costs related to ongoing support for our direct and indirect customers and partners are typically impacted most significantly by our growth.

Our Hughes segment currently uses capacity from our three satellites (the SPACEWAY 3 satellite, the EchoStar XVII satellite, and the EchoStar XIX satellite) and additional satellite capacity acquired from multiple third-party providers to provide services to our customers. Launched in December 2016, our EchoStar XIX satellite is a next-generation, high throughput geostationary satellite employing a multi-spot beam, bent pipe Ka-band architecture. It has provided and we expect it to continue to provide significant capacity for consumer subscriber growth, capacity for the Hughes broadband services to our customers in North America, capacity in certain Central and South American countries and capability for aeronautical and domestic and international enterprise broadband services. 

In August 2017, we entered into a contract for the design and construction of a new, next-generation, high throughput geostationary satellite, with a planned 2021 launch, that is primarily intended to provide additional capacity for our HughesNet service in North, Central and South America as well as aeronautical and enterprise services. Capital expenditures associated with the construction and launch of this satellite is included in “Corporate and Other” in our segment reporting.
 
In March 2017, our wholly-owned subsidiary, Hughes Network Systems, L.L.C., and DISH Network L.L.C. (“DNLLC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of DISH, entered into a master service agreement (the “MSA”) pursuant to which DNLLC, among other things: (i) has the right, but not the obligation, to market, promote and solicit orders and upgrades for the Hughes satellite internet service and related equipment and other telecommunication services and (ii) will install Hughes service equipment with respect to activations generated by DNLLC.  As a result of the MSA, we have not earned and do not expect to earn significant equipment revenue from our Distribution Agreement with dishNET Satellite Broadband L.L.C. (“dishNET”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of DISH, in the future.

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Our Hughes segment also delivers broadband network technologies, managed services, equipment, hardware, satellite services and communications solutions to domestic and international customers and aeronautical, enterprise and government customers. Most of our enterprise customers have contracts with us for the services they purchase.

Developments toward the launch of next-generation satellite systems including low-earth orbit (“LEO”), medium-earth orbit (“MEO”) and geostationary systems could provide additional opportunities to drive the demand for our equipment, hardware, technology and services. We have an agreement with WorldVu Satellites Limited (“OneWeb”), a global LEO satellite service company, to provide certain equipment and services in connection with the ground network system for OneWeb’s LEO satellites. In November 2017, we began the production of OneWeb’s ground network system equipment and expect to begin delivering this equipment in the second half of 2018.
 
We continue to expand our efforts to grow our consumer satellite services business outside of the U.S. In April 2014, we entered into a satellite services agreement pursuant to which Eutelsat do Brasil provides us Ka-band capacity into Brazil on the EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite for a 15-year term.  That satellite was launched in March 2016 and we began delivering high-speed consumer satellite broadband services in Brazil in July 2016. In September 2015, we entered into satellite services agreements pursuant to which affiliates of Telesat Canada (“Telesat”) will provide to us the Ka-band capacity on a satellite to be located at the 63 degree west longitude orbital location (“63 West”) for a 15-year term. We expect the satellite to be launched in the second quarter of 2018 and to augment the capacity being provided by the EUTELSAT 65 West A and EchoStar XIX satellites in Central and South America. We launched our consumer satellite broadband service in Colombia in the third quarter of 2017 and we expect to launch similar services in various other Central and South American countries in 2018.

As of December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, our Hughes segment had approximately 1,208,000, 1,036,000 and 1,035,000 broadband subscribers, respectively.  These broadband subscribers include customers that subscribe to our HughesNet broadband services in the U.S. and South America through retail, wholesale and small/medium enterprise service channels.  Gross subscriber additions, including small/medium enterprise, increased by approximately 7,300 in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to the third quarter of 2017 primarily due to an increase in new additions in our domestic retail channel as a result of our marketing efforts. Our average monthly subscriber churn percentage for the fourth quarter of 2017 decreased compared to the third quarter of 2017.  As a result of higher gross subscriber additions and lower churn, total net subscriber additions, including small/medium enterprise, were approximately 68,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 compared to approximately 55,000 for the third quarter of 2017.
 
As of December 31, 2017 and 2016, our Hughes segment had approximately $1.62 billion and $1.52 billion, respectively, of contracted revenue backlog.  We define Hughes contracted revenue backlog as our expected future revenue under customer contracts that are non-cancelable, excluding agreements with customers in our consumer market. The increase in contracted revenue backlog is primarily due to an increase in customer contracts from our international markets. Of the total contracted revenue backlog as of December 31, 2017, we expect to recognize approximately $424.7 million of revenue in 2018.

EchoStar Satellite Services Segment
 
Our ESS segment is a global provider of satellite service operations and video delivery solutions. We operate our business using our owned and leased in-orbit satellites and related licenses. Revenue growth in our ESS segment depends largely on our ability to continuously make satellite capacity available for sale.  We provide satellite service operations and video delivery solutions on a full-time and occasional-use basis primarily to DISH Network Corporation and its subsidiaries (“DISH Network”), Dish Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V., a joint venture we entered into in 2008 (“Dish Mexico”), United States (“U.S.”) government service providers, internet service providers, broadcast news organizations, programmers, and private enterprise customers. We also manage satellite operations for certain satellites owned by DISH Network.
 
We depend on DISH Network for a significant portion of the revenue for our ESS segment, and we expect that DISH Network will continue to be the primary source of revenue for our ESS segment.  Therefore, the results of operations of our ESS segment are linked to changes in DISH Network’s satellite capacity requirements.  DISH Network’s capacity requirements have been driven by the addition of new channels and migration of programming to high-definition TV and video on demand services. The services that we provide to DISH Network are critical to its nationwide delivery of content to its customers across the U.S. While we expect to continue to provide satellite services to DISH Network, its satellite capacity requirements may change for a

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variety of reasons, including its ability to construct and launch its own satellites.  Any termination or reduction in the services we provide to DISH Network may cause us to have unused capacity on our satellites and require that we aggressively pursue alternative sources of revenue for this business. The agreement with DISH Network for satellite services relative to the EchoStar VII satellite expires in June 2018. DISH Network has not renewed the agreement past such date which may have a significant impact on our operating results in the future.

In August 2014, we entered into: (i) a contract with Airbus Defence and Space SAS for the construction of the EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite with C-, Ku- and Ka-band payloads; (ii) an agreement with SES Satellite Leasing Limited for the procurement of the related launch services; and (iii) an agreement with SES Americom Inc. (“SES”) pursuant to which we transferred the title to the payloads to two affiliates of SES. We retained the right to use the entire Ku-band payload on the satellite for an initial ten-year term, with an option for us to renew the agreement on a year-to-year basis. The EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite was launched in October 2017 and placed into service in November 2017 at the 105 degree west longitude orbital location. Our Ku-band payload on the EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite replaces and augments the capacity we had on the AMC-15 satellite, resulting in additional sales capacity. We transferred activities from the AMC-15 satellite to the EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite in the fourth quarter of 2017.

We are pursuing expanding our business offerings by providing value added services such as telemetry, tracking, and control services to third parties, which leverage the ground monitoring networks and personnel currently within our ESS segment.

At each of December 31, 2017 and 2016, our ESS segment had contracted revenue backlog attributable to satellites currently in orbit of approximately $1.16 billion.  The decrease is primarily driven by the fixed-term nature of the satellite services agreements with DISH Network.  Of the total contracted revenue backlog as of December 31, 2017, we expect to recognize approximately $332.9 million of revenue in 2018.
 
New Business Opportunities
 
Our industry continues to evolve with the increasing worldwide demand for broadband internet access for information, entertainment and commerce. In addition to fiber and wireless systems, other technologies such as geostationary high throughput satellites, LEO networks, balloons, and High Altitude Platform Systems are playing significant roles in enabling global broadband access, networks and services. We intend to use our expertise, technologies, capital, investments, global presence, relationships and other capabilities to continue to provide broadband internet systems, equipment, networks and services for information, entertainment and commerce in North America and internationally for consumers as well as aeronautical, enterprise and government customers.

We are tracking closely the developments in next-generation satellite businesses, and we are seeking to utilize our services, technologies and expertise to find new commercial opportunities for our