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DTH revenues to fall, but compensation is in sight

For most major satellite operators their carriage of DTH signals is the foundation of their revenues. But those revenues – in most mature markets – are flat and under pressure. The main reason is that improved data compression ratios have meant that broadcasters can transmit more channels in the same bandwidth.

A study from Northern Sky Research (NSR) says that the world’s satellite operators will suffer revenue declines on its C-band and Ku-band broadcasting of up to $2 billion annually between now and 2026.

But there is compensation on the horizon in the shape of High Throughput Satellites (HTS). Most of the larger operators already have HTS capacity within their fleets, and the NSR report says that these HTS-based revenues will increase tenfold between 2016-2026, “culminating in a $17 billion annual market by 2026.

Not all of this bounty will flow to the established players such as SES, Intelsat, Eutelsat and their rivals. NSR states that it expects HTS capacity to exceed 17 Tb/s by 2026, with around 60 per cent of this capacity coming in the form of one, or more, LEO-HTS constellations. GEO-HTS will claim 7 Tb/s, with most of this capacity coming on Ka-band GEO-HTS payloads launched in all regions, says the report’s author Blaine Curcio.

“Ultimately, this will expand the total addressable market for satellite, with verticals such as wireless backhaul, commercial mobility, and consumer broadband seeing exponential increases in demand. Even factoring in a significantly lower price point than today, there is huge revenue growth opportunity,” adds Curcio.

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