T-Mobile and SpaceX announced a technology partnership to develop Direct Satellite-to-Smartphone connectivity and offer ubiquitous coverage and network resiliency. This will be an innovative additional feature for the network, but how real is this market opportunity? What are the technology enablers/challenges? Will this cannibalize telco/satellite revenues? Who is ahead in this race? While this is.
Astranis is revolutionizing the Satcom value chain with a third service provider acquiring its own satellite capacity (PDI, Anuvu and most recently Andesat). This will certainly not be the last instance in which a Communications Service Provider acquires its own Space segment. In fact, in the time of cheap and easy access to Space, satellites become commoditized, and Satellite Operators need to rethink what value they bring.
DTH services apart (which are a declining market due to IP-Video trends) and GPS aside, satellite has never been able to reach the masses. In fact, satellite requires very specific equipment, know-how, etc. and, honestly, does not offer the convenience level of terrestrial alternatives. But the inclusion of Non-Terrestrial Networks in the definition of the 5G waveform and initiatives like AST.
A report from analysts at Northern Sky Research (NSR) forecasts that satellite-based 5G access could attract 400 millions of subscribers by 2030. The subscribing numbers will be made up of Smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. “Beyond traditional telco areas, multiple segments show accelerated growth from transition to 5G, generating $125.5 billion in cumulative.
NSR’s 5G via Satellite, 2nd Edition report, launched today, sees 5G access protocols that incorporate non-terrestrial networks will attract 100s of millions of smartphones and IoT devices to satellite networks by the decade’s close. Beyond traditional telco areas, multiple segments show accelerated growth from transition to 5G, generating US$125.5 billion in cumulative service revenues.