NSR Press Releases

NSR Report: Optical Satellite Communications Driven by Constellations and Data Downlink Demand

Optical Satcom Equipment a $3.7B Opportunity by 2028, but Market Must Establish Ecosystem to Drive Development  

Cambridge, MA – NSR’s Optical Satellite Communications report, released today, forecasts nearly $4 B in cumulative revenue over the 2018-2028 period for laser communication equipment in space. Largely driven by the impending wave of mega-constellations with inter-satellite links, the volume of production and subsequent deployment of Non-GEO satellites will drive revenue growth for equipment manufacturers.

“The market growth for laser communication terminals (LCTs) rests strongly on the successful deployment of Non-GEO HTS mega-constellations,” states Shivaprakash Muruganandham, report author. Constellations such as SpaceX’ Starlink and Telesat’s LEO that propose to incorporate inter-satellite laser links are expected to drive demand for Space-Space terminals beyond 10,000 units by 2028.

Free space optical communications has long been a niche alternative to today’s radio frequency-based satcom ecosystem, used primarily in technology demonstration missions by governments and research organizations either in near-earth orbits or on deep space platforms. However, technology advances in recent years and increasing demand for data downlink have captured industry interest in optical as a commercially viable satcom alternative.

Another niche market in the making is satellite data downlink capabilities, where optical satcom is expected to play a key role in the networks of the future. “NSR recognizes this need for optical downlink capabilities in the long-term, but the communications infrastructure on the ground segment will first need to catch up before real returns can be observed,” Muruganandham adds.

Many optical equipment manufacturers are racing to address this market with a variety of products aimed at Space-Space or Space-Ground optical connectivity solutions. NSR believes that the progress of key players, along with the growing maturity and partnerships seen in the industry value chain, will be highly beneficial to fulfill the promise of Optical Communications. These dynamics are expected to drive cost and performance improvements that will eventually enable the wider adoption of laser terminals in the satcom industry.

About the Report

NSR’s Optical Satellite Communications (OSC) report is an industry first report providing a complete overview of the laser communication terminal (LCT) market. NSR’s OSC report forecasts the global industry outlook in terms of in-service units and equipment revenues across regions and across three target application areas for both Space-Space and Space-Ground optical links. NSR’s Optical Satellite Communications also profiles key industry players manufacturing these LCTs. Building upon NSR’s leading research into the space infrastructure markets, this report offers a clear outlook on the future of optical communications in space for different stakeholders.

For additional information on this report, including a full table of contents, list of exhibits and executive summary, please visit www.nsr.com or call NSR at +1-617-674-7743.

About NSR

NSR is the leading global market research and consulting firm focused on the satellite and space sectors, NSR’s global team, unparalleled coverage and anticipation of trends with a high degree of confidence and precision than the competition is the cornerstone of all NSR offerings. First to market coverage and a transparent, dependable approach sets NSR apart as the key provider of critical insight to the satellite and space industries. Contact us at info@nsr.com to discuss how we can assist your business.