Satellite smartphone services set for $18bn revenue boost by 2027

Satellite smartphone services set for $18bn revenue boost by 2027

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The satellite smartphone industry is forecast to generate revenue of around US$18 billion by 2027, according to new research from CCS Insight.

The report, titled Spotlight: Direct Satellite-to-Device Mobile Services, sheds light on the nascent market as basic satellite communication services reaches more people.

This comes as growth in satellite-connected devices is projected to continue and the introduction of new satellite constellations that can fill connectivity gaps in remote areas continues,

CCS forecasts that 92 million phones will have built-in messaging functionality by the end of the year, a rise from just under two million devices in 2021.

The shift in accessibility is driven by Apple’s tie-up with Globalstar for the Emergency SOS feature in the iPhone 14 range, as well as Qualcomm’s partnership with Iridium, which is bringing similar capabilities to Android phones.

Satellite communication services were previously limited to a niche market of users with specialises handsets, CCS says, but they are becoming more widely available.

"Bringing satellite capabilities to mass-market smartphones marks a milestone in the telecom industry", explains Luke Pearce, senior analyst at CCS Insight.

"This development creates exciting opportunities for consumers, manufacturers and operators and promises to help bridge the digital divide.

“The projected growth in revenue and subscribers highlights the potential this integration holds for expanding connectivity options — we're witnessing the start of a new era where satellite services become an integral part of everyday smartphones".

According to the firm, the integration of satellite connectivity on mobile devices will no longer be reliant on hardware modifications.

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