Research: Satellite ground segment worth $78bn
September 1, 2022
By Chris Forrester
The cumulative value of satellite ‘ground segment’, needed for handling signals to and from orbiting satellites, will be worth $78 billion (€77.7bn) between 2022 to 2031, says a study from Euroconsult.
The research states that ground segment, helped by the proliferation of new satellite deployments, will see the commercial user terminal segment experience a major surge in market value due to the sustained effort to build up non-geostationary constellations, alongside the overall growth in data traffic over satellite networks, with an expected 7.8 per cent compound annual growth up to 2031.
This in turn will contribute to the acceleration of flat panel antenna (FPA) development, especially the electronically steered variants, as they are better suited to track multiple satellites. Electronically steered antennas (ESAs) are thus expected to reach more than half of the sold commercial user terminals by 2031.
The terrestrial competition for video services is also playing a major role in the decline of the satellite broadcast market value, despite a temporary and limited growth due to the C-band spectrum reallocation process in the US.
Several European countries have already signed ground segment contracts ahead of new satellite deployments, while the US’s defense sector is still experiencing significant demand for the sustainment of existing terminals. Instead, the US’s greater opportunity is expected to come from the renewal and augmentation of approximately 17,000 terminals currently in use by the different military forces.
The deployment of software-definition in both satellite systems and within ground infrastructure will also stand as a key item in the product roadmap of many ground segment suppliers, with a need to partly transition from a role of hardware to technology suppliers. Satellite operators are relying more and more on virtualisation in place of physical hardware, reducing expenditures and improving ground segment flexibility, says the report.