NSR Press Releases

Software-Defined Satellite Trend Triggers $86.9 Billion Revenue Opportunity

Satellite Flexibility Requirements to Dominate Next Decade as Expectations Push Manufacturing Orders


Cambridge, MA – October 10, 2021 – NSR’s new report Software-Defined Satellites (SDS), launched today, sees growing satellite flexibility requirements trigger an $86.9 Billion cumulative revenue opportunity by decade’s end. Non-GEO- HTS constellation satellites will lead uptake with 95% demonstrating full or partial flexibility as software-defined platforms by 2030. However, operator hesitancy sees only 70% of GEO satellite orders to capture this trend in the medium term.  

“Standardization drives down manufacturing costs, leading to cheaper software-defined satellites than contemporary partial or bent-pipe counterparts, yet, as operators aim to launch extensive coverage networks, full software-definition is not likely in the near-term.” notes report Co-author Dallas Kasaboski. “Most Non-GEO constellation satellites will feature some, but not all of the capabilities of a fully software-defined system, while GEO operators evaluate business potential. 

With testing still in progress, GEO adoption will be slower in the short to medium term, though the customer flexibility ask is clear. Most high-throughput comms constellations are expected to have the ability to steer beams, redistribute power and reshape spectrum, to enable network efficiency, cater to current/future customers, and new use cases. Strategic planning of business case potential in the short term will increase the operator long-term revenue opportunity. 

“GEO communication platforms are not in dire need of immediate change; however, embracing innovations such as software-defined platforms allow operators to enable new business cases and growth opportunities.” states report Co-author Hussain Bokhari. “With enhanced offerings to customers through flexibility options, businesses could minimize CAPEX and increase profits over the satellite life cycle.” 

While operators slowly assess each level of flexible platform offering, technology and manufacturing processes are advancing, leading to potential cost-savings and greater platform flexibility. New technologies and approaches are enabling different cost-structures and satellite networks, creating opportunities in the industry for both business-case capture and emerging business-case development. 

About the Report 

NSR’s Software-Defined Satellites (SDS)is the industry’s leading resource assessing global demand for flexible, software-defined satellites for GEO & Non-GEO over the next decade. The report provides a comprehensive evaluation of market drivers through analysis of the communications application, further segmented into 5 regions across all satellite mass categories, for both orbit types. Taking a deep dive into the trends impacting manufacture, purchase, and future capabilities, NSR’s SDSoffering business essential insights to keep readers ahead of the curve. 

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.  

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