Forecast: Satellite capacity revenue at $30bn in 2031
July 27, 2022
Northern Sky Research (NSR) has taken a deep dive into the satellite capacity supply industry which is now past the Covid-19 contraction and, in some areas, growing at a rapid pace. In revenue terms, the 2021 level of $12.1 billion (€11.9bn) is forecast to grow to $30 billion in 2031 representing a cumulative opportunity of $207.3 billion through the decade.
Competition, innovation and risk-taking from all player types anchors a space economy currently at the beginning of a growth trajectory, notes NSR’s Global Satellite Capacity Supply & Demand, 19th Edition (GSCSD19).
“The first wave of LEO constellations is being realised with Starlink and OneWeb half-way through their first-generation constellation build-ups. Despite industry hype, the disrupting potential of these initial deployments is limited,” commented NSR Principal Analyst and report author Lluc Palerm. “For example, a demand-hungry region like South Asia sees only 400 Gbps of Non-GEO supply by 2025, a figure easily matched by a GEO VHTS satellite today. True risk of oversupply comes with the second wave of LEO constellations, beyond 2026.”
“The Asia region offers massive Satcom opportunity, especially in bridging the digital divide,” added NSR Senior Analyst & report co-author Vivek Suresh Prasad. “Many activities around regulatory changes, price erosion unlocking elasticities, deployment of new services, etc. in the region are expected in the next 3-5 years. Other regions with huge opportunity in bridging the digital divide are in Latin America and Africa regions.”
While prognosis for Satcom is highly positive across all aspects and metrics, the industry is not without its challenges – declines in Video revenues outpaced acceleration in Data, leading to another year of industry contraction in 2021 (-2.7 per cent). The competitive landscape, price pressure, and regulatory hurdles in key markets all contribute to a highly contended business landscape.
However, the satellite and space industries are in the most exciting phase of their history, where innovation, large-scale investments, and the realisation of ROI will lead to further growth and risk-taking says NSR. Although satellite communications remain a niche in the overall telecommunications market, its overall importance, impact, and network role will increase over time.