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Cheaper satellite capacity drives IP growth

NSR’s Wireless Backhaul via Satellite 10th Edition report forecasts the global installed base of satellite backhaul sites will surpass 67,000 by 2025 and will generate $2.1 billion in revenues. Mobile Backhaul will generate the majority of growth led by Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The new vertical IP Content Distribution, serving capacity offload and content distribution to CDNs, will take some time to develop but could potentially become a strategic application for the industry.

“The overall satellite ecosystem is changing rapidly. Despite growth in active sites remaining at single-digit rates, the industry can generate impressive IP growth via new price points offered by HTS capacity,” stated Lluc Palerm, NSR Analyst and report author. “Business models need to adapt as MNOs and ISPs are less focused on infrastructure management and end-to-end solutions grow. The global telecom environment is constantly evolving, and the satellite industry is finding new applications as CDN traffic grows and ground networks become congested.”

As drivers change from USO projects to economical return of higher-margin sites, the largest opportunity lies in monetising the emerging demand for 3G and 4G sites through bandwidth provisioning and services. The uncovered addressable market is still significant in regions like Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa or Central & Eastern Europe. Regions such as Latin America are more mature, but this is fostering an earlier transition to Mobile Broadband backhaul while other regions are still rolling out 2G networks.

The migration to 4G and eventually to 5G creates new opportunities for the satellite industry. 4G includes protocols for broadcasting content and some MNOs are looking into bundling Mobile TV with their offers. With 5G, content will need to move to the edge, creating massive opportunities for content multicasting from satellite.

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