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Satellite broadband SAM expected to grow to 330 million homes by 2026

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The serviceable addressable market (SAM) for global satellite broadband over geostationary (GEO), medium earth orbit (MEO), and low earth orbit (LEO) satellites will stand at 330 million homes by 2026.

A new report from ABI Research indicated that 5G and 4G coverage will increase as fibre-optic deployment continues.

However, the research firm says, this will still be insufficient to address the growing consumer, business and Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) premises’ wide-ranging broadband needs as populations and economies grow.

“Even with the proliferation of mobile and fixed broadband access throughout the globe, there is still a significant portion of the population, mostly in rural areas, that suffers from poor coverage or is not covered at all by terrestrial forms of broadband,” said Jun Wei Ee, research analyst at ABI Research.

“Satellite communications — over GEO, MEO and LEO — can help operators fill the coverage gap, ultimately providing reliable connectivity for premises that will not have access to fibre-optic or reliable 5G coverage,” he added.

According to the report, satellite communication providers can also play a crucial role in supporting backhaul traffic from mobile base stations.

Subscriptions to mobile are expected to grow to 8.8 billion by 2026 and satellite communication firms can support and contribute to the growth by providing coverage for rural communities to help to “top up” capacity in suburban areas that do not have access to a high-capacity fibre optic or 5G infrastructure.

Jake Saunders, report research manager and vice president at ABI Research said: “There is an enduring need for GEO satellites’ ubiquitous cover synergising with MEO and LEO high throughput and low latency.

“As satellite network technologies continue to evolve and are integrated with terrestrial technologies, telecom operators will be better equipped and more agile in providing broadband connectivity to its growing and diverse customer base.”