“No pot of gold” for LEO constellations

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SpaceX is well on track to have 1000 satellites in orbit by the end of January 2021. Rival OneWeb is due to add another 36 craft to its existing fleet of 74 satellites on December 17th.  Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has yet to launch any of his Project Kuiper fleet, but observers are expecting launch action in 2021. Then there are plans afoot from Canada’s Telesat, as well as other satellite operators.

The Low Earth Orbiting ‘broadband-by-satellite’ concept is seen by many as the ‘Holy Grail’ for future revenue success.

‘Not so fast’ implies Paris-based Euroconsult. Its latest report quantifies the huge number of satellites likely to be launched over the next decade and says that an average of 1,250 craft annually will be launched.

However, Euroconsult is blunt and says that despite these new constellations absorbing around 70 per cent of satellite demand they will only account for some 8 per cent of the global market value over the next decade.

“The satellite industry will indeed experience a quick and radical transformation when it comes to satellite numbers. However, despite this spike in satellite demand, we are looking at half of the market concentrated around a handful of mega-constellations. In addition, some being vertically integrated means that their procurement will not be done on an open competition basis. Nevertheless, GEO comsat remains the leading segment pulling 1/3 of the market revenues, but here too we anticipate -20 percent drop in operational assets by 2029,” argues Maxime Puteaux, Editor-in-Chief of the report and principal advisor at Euroconsult.


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