It will be a growth decade for satellites, though video markets decline

It will be a growth decade for satellites, though video markets decline

SpaceX Starlink June 2020.jpg

It’s going to be a decade when satellites become vital to the development of high-speed broadband, according to a number of forecasters.

According to Euroconsult, the world will see an average of 1,250 satellites launched every year between now and 2029. That’s five times the average rate for the 2010-19 decade.

Maxime Puteaux, principal advisor at Euroconsult, says: “We are looking at half of the market concentrated around a handful of mega constellations. In addition, some being vertically integrated means that their procurement will not be done on an open competition basis.”

We’ve already had the first year with more than 1,000 satellites launched, of which, says Euroconsult — with 70% of them being SpaceX’s Starlink satellites (pictured). “This symbolic threshold will become a new standard for the next ten years with significant annual variations mainly driven by the replacement of the commercial constellations,” says Euroconsult.

The growth is in low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. There were only 18 geostationary (GEO) satellites launched in 2020. The replacement of geostationary satellites “is also challenged by fleet rationalisation approaches” as well as by the fact that some are lasting longer than expected.

But there’s a widening market for satellites, with new launchers dedicated to small satellites, “and more expected to perform maiden flights in 2021”.

Rival firm NSR says that the satellite industry contracted in size by 2.7%.

Its Satellite Industry Financial Analysis report says that the industry is “on the cusp of a major transformation”.

The report adds: “While integrated operators and some data segments continue to post gains, video continues to struggle, shrinking the global satcom industry by 2.7% in 2019.”

There is, says NSR, a “a new growth period from 2021-22. With LEO capacity from SpaceX, OneWeb in 2021-22, and Amazon and Telesat launching in 2024, the satcom industry finds it imperative to consolidate to control their captive markets and offer higher economic value.”




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