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Satellite industry revenues up 3%

The 2016 State of the Satellite Industry Report, produced by the Satellite Industry Association (SIA), shows a solid, steady growth rate in world satellite industry revenues in 2015. In spite of economic troubles in many economies, the SIA found that world satellite industry revenues grew at three per cent in 2015.

Globally, 2015 revenues for the satellite industry totalled just over $208 billion (€186bn), up from approximately $203 billion the previous year. Industry growth was led by the satellite services segment, with satellite broadband and earth observation revenues both up by 10 per cent over the previous year. Overall satellite services revenues increased by four per cent to $127.4 billion. Satellite manufacturing also grew by four per cent over the previous year to $16.6 billion while ground equipment revenues grew by just one per cent over the previous year. Satellite launch industry revenues have fluctuated regularly over the past decade and 2015 continued that trend as revenues decreased by nine per cent in 2015, after rising nine per cent in 2014.

While overall revenue continued to grow at a consistent pace, the growing importance of the industry was also underlined by the continued significant increase in the sheer number of operational satellites in orbit. By the end of 2015, 1,381 satellites were operational compared with 1,261 at the end of 2014 and just 986 in 2011. That represents an increase of over 40 per cent in just over four years, in part as a result of the number of CubeSats being placed into orbit.

“With overall growth remaining consistent plus double digit growth in both satellite broadband and earth observation revenues, last year was another significant and positive year for the satellite industry,” said Tom Stroup, President of SIA. “Both incumbent parts of the industry and satellite entrepreneurs are driving innovative new technologies while expanding the recognition of the unique and ubiquitous capabilities that only space-based services can provide. SIA and its members remain committed to supporting a policy framework which will allow the industry to continue to grow and meet its customers’ demand for innovative global satellite services.”

Carissa Christensen, Managing Partner of The Tauri Group, described the report as “a vital resource” for decision makers.” Government leaders, executives, investors, and entrepreneurs need insight into the realities of the satellite industry. Global finance, television, transportation, weather, national defence, aviation, and many other sectors rely on critical satellite capabilities,” she added.

Other report highlights include:

  • Satellite Services revenues increased by four per cent globally from 2014 to 2015, reaching $127.4 billion, powered by continued growth in consumer satellite television, satellite broadband and Earth observation services.
  • Satellite Manufacturing revenues, reflecting the value of satellites launched in 2015, grew by four per cent worldwide to $16.6 billion. There were orders for 17 commercial GEO satellites with 11 orders won by US manufacturers for a domestic market share of 65 per cent, up from 57 per cent in 2014.
  • Satellite Launch Services Industry revenues, which include revenues for all commercially-competed launches that occurred in 2015, decreased by nine per cent from 2014 to 2015. In 2015, 202 satellites were launched compared with 208 launched in 2014, and the number of commercially procured launches conducted worldwide decreased to 65 from 73 in 2014.
  • Satellite Ground Equipment revenues rose by one per cent over 2014 to reach $58.9 billion. Satellite navigation (GNSS) equipment for both consumer and industrial customers represented approximately 53 per cent of the overall ground equipment revenue.

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