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EchoStar Boosts Share In StarBand

7/23/2001 02:00:00 AM Eastern

EchoStar increased its equity stake in satellite broadband provider StarBand Communications to 32 percent and has plans to own a majority position in the company.

EchoStar, parent company of the DISH Network, paid $50 million in cash for its augmented position and will take a 60 percent share when StarBand begins construction of its next generation satellite.

Gilat Satellite Networks is also involved in the deal by providing EchoStar with proprietary satellite design technology for the upcoming spacecraft, which will serve the consumer segment of the two-way satellite-delivered broadband market.

"EchoStar's financial commitment, together with the recently released StarBand Model 360 satellite modem, will allow us to build on our momentum," said Zur Feldman, StarBand's CEO. The Model 360 is StarBand's third generation satellite modem.

With this deal finalized, EchoStar will control four of the seven seats on StarBand's board of directors with Gilat having the remaining three.