SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT FROM HUGHES NETWORK SYSTEMS T

  be Used In Wide-Area Network for South African Elections; Telkom SA Supplies a VSAT-Based                Communications Solution for 1999 Elections  GERMANTOWN, Md., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Telkom SA has provided its SpaceStream product, which uses very small aperture terminal (VSAT) technology primarily based on VSAT equipment supplied by Hughes Network Systems (HNS), to South Africa's Electoral Commission (IEC). The equipment will form the basis of IEC's wide-area network for the preparation and voting activities associated with South Africa's 1999 elections. Telekom made the recommendations at the request of an independent consultant retained by the IEC. In assessing its range of terrestrial and satellite products. Telkom determined that the satellite solution would best suit both the IEC's business and technical requirements.  Incorporating HNS' Integrated Satellite Business Network (ISBN) system, Telkom's SpaceStream service will offer the IEC data, network links between IEC headquarters and polling stations in voting districts across South Africa. Nearly 500 sites have been initially identified as polling stations and installation of the VSATs has taken only three months to complete -- the most aggressive and successful rollout of an entire satellite network in South Africa's telecommunications history.  In addition, as an integral part of the service, Telkom SA will provide the IEC with a tailor-made solution that includes protocol and network management, maintenance, and reengineering services in accordance with agreed service levels.  "It was essential to provide the IEC with a solution that was secure, flexible, and extremely reliable at a cost-effective price," said Sean Victor, product manager, SpaceStream, Telkom. "Our experience with delivery of many different telecommunications solutions allowed us to assess all of the IEC needs and we believe that SpaceStream offers them the best solution available to meet their business requirements."  The VSAT network will be used to facilitate the electronic transfer of information during voter registration in the months leading up to the election, as well as transmitting voting data back to the IEC during the election. The ease and speed of VSAT installation ensures that the IEC can have registration and voting stations in all areas of South Africa, whatever their topography, distance from urban areas, or lack of terrestrial infrastructure service.  Telkom's SpaceStream Service uses HNS VSAT technology to deliver customers a satellite-based communications service solution, offering total operating flexibility by supporting data, image, voice, full multimedia, and a host of multiprotocol applications simultaneously across a managed national and/or intra-African or an international satellite network. The service can be provided using any one of three topologies, either a traditional star, point-to-point, or mesh configuration.  The IEC network consists of an HNS PES terminal located at each remote site on the network that provides communications with the hub station located at the headquarters/data center. The PES effectively supports data-intensive applications and at the same time provides excellent response times for interactive applications. Capacity is allocated to remote sites on demand, ensuring optimum response times for remote applications.  Telkom SA Ltd., a public company since 1991, is 30% owned by strategic equity partners SBC Communications Inc. and Telekom Malaysia. With total revenues of more than R20.2 billion in 1997, the company employs a workforce of 57,000. Telkom SA has a diversified presence across a wide range of telecommunication activities. Telkom SA is headquartered in Pretoria, RSA.  HNS customers include the continent's most progressive telecommunications companies in more than 30 nations. A world leader in satellite products and network systems for more than 25 years, HNS has 60 percent of the global VSAT market and has shipped more than 200,000 terminals.  Headquartered in Germantown, Md., near Washington, D.C., the company has sales and support offices worldwide. HNS offers communications network solutions that include a complete line of integrated satellite, enterprise networking products, and fixed and mobile wireless networks.  HNS is a Hughes Electronics Corporation company and an ISO-9001-certified manufacturer. The earnings of Hughes Electronics are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to GMH (NYSE symbol) common stock.  PES and ISBN are registered trademarks of Hughes Network Systems.    SOURCE  Hughes Network Systems /CONTACT:  Gayle Armstrong, Hughes Network Systems, 301-601-4185, Fax 301-601-4071, garmstrong@hns.com or Tanya Fortner, Copithorne & Bellows, 770-392-8646, Fax 770-392-8612, tanya.fortner@cbpr.com/  CO:  Hughes Network Systems; Telkom SA Ltd. ST:  Maryland, South Africa IN:  CPR TLS SU: