Satellite industry unscathed by recession

01 January 2010 |


According to Northern Sky Research’s (NSR) Global Assessment of Satellite Supply & Demand report, commercial satellite operators saw a very good year in 2008.

More importantly, most satellite operators have yet to report any substantial damage from the global economic crisis and, assuming recovery is solidly in place by the end of 2009, it appears that they will largely escape unscathed. There is still some risk because satellite capacity leasing is historically a trailing indicator of economic strength, yet the majority of the business is built on TV watching, and this market has only increased in the last year, according to NSR.

Adding together commercial C-, Ku- and Ka-band transponder demand, NSR estimates that about 5,130 36MHz transponder equivalents (TPEs) of capacity were leased on the global market in 2008, and this will increase at the average annual rate of 2.2% and reach more than 6,370 TPEs in the next 10 years. In addition, about 16Gbps of commercial high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity was leased in 2008, and this should increase more than tenfold by 2018, according to NSR.