Paris-based consultancy Euroconsult, in its latest report, Satellite Connectivity & Video Market, says that the market value for non-geostationary satellite (NGSO) constellations and their related video markets is expected to exceed $20 billion (€17bn) by 2030. Capacity on non-geostationary accounts for more than 75 per cent of the projected market growth in the next decade.
“NGSO constellations continue to gain momentum, as demonstrated by the past year’s new satellite orders and launches,” said Nathan De Ruiter, MD of Euroconsult Canada. “Starlink began commercial service and both OneWeb and Telesat Lightspeed secured additional investment. Our report found that NGSOs accounted for 97 per cent of the supply added in 2020, resulting from satellites launched by both Starlink and OneWeb.”
The increasing dominance of NGSO satellites is also reflected in the supply forecast, with NGSO accounting for ~90 per cent of total supply to be added in the next five years. The total global capacity supply (including all orbits) will rapidly expand from 3.7 Tb/s in 2020 to 23 Tb/s in 2022 and is projected to reach more than 50 Tb/s in 2026, as additional constellations enter into service.
In last year’s report, Euroconsult predicted a prolonged market downturn due to Covid and the more structural driver of eroding capacity revenue for video services. The new report validates that finding, reflecting a five percent decrease in market value in 2019 compared to 2020. However, while Covid had a significant impact on key growth markets such as connectivity for cruise ships, planes, and offshore oil platforms, the structural demand drivers for satellite connectivity remain strong, and a return to pre-Covid growth is projected in 2022, says Euroconsult.
Connecting the unconnected remains the largest market opportunity for satellite connectivity. This includes service to remote areas, cellular backhaul, and community hotspots, in addition to serving people on the move. Currently more than 250,000 commercial vessels and airplanes are operating beyond the reach of terrestrial networks and only 15 per cent of these use satellite for broadband connectivity today.
“To achieve market growth projections, satellite operators need to deeper integrate into terrestrial networks,” said Dimitri Buchs, senior consultant at Euroconsult. “We expect digitalisation or ‘smartification’ of satellite communication networks to play a key role in achieving network convergence. Heightened network efficiency will enable new user applications and will unlock new market opportunities in under-served areas.”
Enterprise networks and consumer broadband are driving future growth and are expected to be the two largest contributors to continued demand in the next decade. Video distribution, which was previously the mainstay of the satellite industry, continues to decline and level off, while revenues from the mobility segment including maritime and aero connectivity are projected to grow to a similar size market of more than $3 billion by 2030, says Euroconsult.