Advanced Television

Forecast: Maritime users to increase sat-constellation spend

June 29, 2022

NSR’s Maritime SATCOM Markets, 10th Edition report finds satellite constellations from the likes of SES mPower, Starlink, OneWeb, Telesat Lightspeed, and more, poised to start a new era for maritime satellite connectivity. The revolution of low latency satellite constellations is underway, and their entrance into the Maritime market will have a profound impact on both uptake and revenue.

“Look anywhere in the maritime markets and everyone is rushing to rapidly increase their connectivity solution,” states Research Director, and report co-author Brad Grady. “From cruise ships opening the bandwidth taps, to emerging rules around crew connectivity in the merchant markets towards fishing and leisure vessels no longer able to be ‘disconnected.’ No one is asking ‘If connectivity’, but rather, ‘how much can I afford?’”

Going from a combined legacy and constellation demand of less than 100 Gbps in 2021 to over 1,500 Gbps of throughput demand by 2031 reflects that mindset shift. As one of the last ‘un(der)connected’ domains on earth, the launch of GEO and especially Non-GEO satellite supply over the next ten years will aid in bringing high quality connectivity across the earth’s oceans.

“What we currently see as the domain of cruise ships and oil rigs,” states NSR Senior Analyst, Alan Crisp and report co-author, “will proliferate across end-user segments into fishing and leisure vessels, should the right mix of price and package enter the market.”

At over $37.4 billion in cumulative revenues over the next ten years and almost 150k broadband enabled vessels by 2031, the market is poised to unlock the next wave of connectivity solutions. Narrowband connectivity options will be insufficient for all but the most basic of use-cases and give way to broadband options.

The market is not without its challenges – fuel prices, climate change, and lingering Covid-19 impacts make longer-term investments in markets such as the Offshore sector challenging. Global trade remains lower than average in the face of inflationary pressures, which further stresses connectivity desires for merchant players. Fishing, leisure, and passenger vessels will enjoy the changing economics of satellite capacity – alongside their desire for always-on connectivity.

In short, going from $2.4 billion in 2021 for Narrowband to Broadband retail revenues of over $5.1 billion by 2031, the market is become more than just a few well connected cruise ships. While those are critical, the tools and technology are lining up to unlock the lower tier of maritime satellite connectivity.

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