GERMANTOWN, Maryland and MILTON KEYNES, England, June 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- As excitement for the 2010 FIFA World Cup gains momentum, followers of 'The Big Kick to Johannesburg' worldwide will be able to keep fully up-to-date with the charity project as it continues its exciting progress across Africa -- thanks to services provided by the European operating unit of Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes), the global leader in broadband satellite.

Supporting the Ein Herz fur Kinder' (A Heart for Children) charity, which undertakes major relief projects in Africa, the Big Kick project is sponsored by HMI, German insurance giant Ergo Versicherung's subsidiary, and involves dribbling a football more than 10,500 kilometers from the company's Hamburg headquarters to Johannesburg over land, sea, and air.

Just as with the Olympic Flame, the Big Kick football is travelling from Germany, the venue for the last World Cup in 2006, to this year's host nation, South Africa, on a journey taking 46 days and arriving 24 hours before the opening ceremony on 11 June, said Christopher Britton, managing director of Hughes Europe. We are proud to have been chosen by HMI to provide Inmarsat's BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network) satellite service and Hughes 9201 BGAN terminals as the only communications solution able to provide the quality and coverage it demanded for the African leg of the journey, now that the European leg has been completed. Major publicity events involving celebrity participants have been organized at each stage of the journey, with a short video of the daily progress made available to followers worldwide.

The Hughes-provided BGAN solution offers rugged yet easy-to-use connectivity in linking Africa with the rest of the world, sending regular pictures via Deutsche Telekom's Munich-based data center, as the ball travels through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, and South Africa.

For Britton, the Big Kick project in Africa demonstrates Hughes' unmatched ability to provide mobile connectivity on a truly global basis. Wherever you are, even before the World Cup starts, with Hughes providing the BGAN service, you won't miss a kick!

About Hughes Network Systems

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) is the global leader in providing broadband satellite networks and services for large enterprises, governments, small businesses, and consumers. HughesNet(R) encompasses all broadband solutions and managed services from Hughes, bridging the best of satellite and terrestrial technologies. Its broadband satellite products are based on global standards approved by the TIA, ETSI and ITU standards organizations, including IPoS/DVB-S2, RSM-A and GMR-1. To date, Hughes has shipped more than 2.2 million systems to customers in over 100 countries.

Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes maintains sales and support offices worldwide. Hughes is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hughes Communications, Inc. . For additional information, please visit

Hughes and HughesNet are registered trademarks of Hughes Network Systems, LLC.

SOURCE: Hughes Network Systems, LLC

CONTACT: Judy Blake of Hughes Network Systems, +1-301-601-7330,; or Katy Brooks or Jane Rigg, both of The WhiteoaksConsultancy, +44-0-1252-727313,