Over the past five years, the Satellite Transmission Services industry in China has been growing at an annualised rate of 13.8 per cent and is set to generate $285.9 billion in 2012, according to IBISWorld. The industry has benefited from increasing demand for satellite television broadcasting and communications. The coverage of major sporting events, such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Asian Games, also had major effects on the industry’s performance.
The industry has a high level of market share concentration. Satellite transmission services are strictly regulated by the government so entry into the industry is difficult, and the largest state-owned enterprises, China Satcom, CCTV Satellite, SINO Satellite Communications Company and Beijing Marine Communication and Navigation Company, enjoy enduring oligopoly benefits.
As an emerging high-tech industry providing various communication services, satellite transmission service operators have great market potential. However, the industry has faced a strong substitution threat from optical wire-based transmission services in recent years, says IBISWorld. Optical wires or cables are less costly to deploy and maintain, and are capable of providing higher bandwidth.
In 2007, SINOSAT-3, ChinaSat-6B and ChinaSat-9 were launched in China, which greatly increased the industry’s capacity for television broadcasting and global positioning system (GPS) services. Satellite positioning and navigation services have become an important segment for the Satellite Transmission Services industry in China in the last two years as a result of inexpensive and domestically developed GPS devices.