NSR’s Wireless Backhaul via Satellite, 15th Edition report, forecasts $25 billion (€21bn) in annual revenue in 2030 for satellite backhaul, propelled by explosive connectivity demand worldwide and post-Covid-19 recovery in the near term. As it is a core target of virtually every current and new satellite capacity provider, NSR expects Satellite Backhaul to represent one of the largest revenue opportunities for satcom over the next decade.
Digitisation is climbing in governmental agendas, pushing for ubiquitous Broadband and creating skyrocketing levels of bandwidth demand. Satellite is finally regarded as an alternative tool for rural deployments, thus creating a massive opportunity for Cellular Backhaul. Trunking is returning to growth with new price points triggering elasticities. Hybrid IP Content Distribution continues on a test phase with little traction during 2020, but the long-term potential continues to look promising.
Covid-19 did have a negative impact on the Satellite Backhaul market, especially for equipment vendors. Deployments were interrupted and the cadence of new deals slowed. However, during the second half of 2020 there was an energetic recovery. The industry is just scratching the surface of the addressable market with 470 Gbps of traffic consumed today, compared with the total potential of 22 Tbps in 2020 (and expanding due to consumer trends).
“New business models like Managed Services and Network-as-a-Service are key to make satellite easier to adopt by MNOs,” states Lluc Palerm, NSR Principal Analyst and report author. “These emerging offers are growing rapidly with some deployments counting sites in 1,000s. However, higher risks are involved and the upfront CAPEX to develop these services is considerable. The players that succeed in this transition will be able to capture a portion of the $25 Billion annual revenue opportunity by 2030,” according to Palerm.
While there have been early tests, commercial Satellite Backhaul of 5G will still take time to develop. 35 per cent of the traffic by 2030 will be driven by 5G. However, the importance of 5G goes well beyond backhaul of 5G Cells as it will facilitate seamless orchestration of satellite and terrestrial networks while opening multiple new use cases.