Backhaul is poised to be a key driver for satellite industry growth. The combination of advanced ground segment technology and competitive capacity pricing makes satellite a compelling solution for MNOs to expand coverage.
“The terminals that the end-users will use to connect are a tremendous barrier as they are very expensive,” says Lluc Palerm-Serra, Senior Analyst at NSR. “Launching a global service is very tough. No [internet service provider] has done that before as they always have a [single] country focus.”
The last few years have seen increasing interest in space-based optical communications, driven by the convergence of multiple trends: rising small satellite data volumes, increasing security concerns and Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum congestion, to name a few.
The Maritime Satellite Communications market is at a crossroad; more capacity is available in all frequencies and orbits thanks to Iridium’s recently launched Certus plans, VSAT terminals are getting lighter and cheaper, and end-users continue to find value in some flavor of higher throughput connectivity.
At the recent Satellite 2019 and the AIX 2019 conferences, there were many discussions centered on enhancing the passenger experience and, in the process, monetizing what is still today relatively low returns on IFC investments by airlines.