Even though the satellite sector was touted as recession-proof, many companies are glad to put a difficult year behind them. And while there is no guarantee that 2010 will be immediately better, the communications sector is looking forward to what should be a much improved overall marketplace. Areas that should be good for satellite players in the coming years are:
Hybrid networks for corporate communications. The market will continue to see demand for improved communications, and the growth of hybrid networks that include satellite contributions integrated with terrestrial components is gaining traction. Videoconferencing is growing among corporate users in the United States and Europe, both with permanent installations and for occasional use facilities that can be reserved as needed.
All forms of mobile connectivity, primarily for the satcom-on-the-move and machine-to-machine corporate markets. There also is optimism that the MSS consumer market will see growth as more capable satellites become operational, better user equipment hits the market and transportation segments such as airlines and trains look for satellite services to help derive more revenue.
With domestic wireless networks struggling for coverage in many countries, satellite services will continue to play a pivotal role in providing service.
Satellite broadband is growing around the globe, and U.S. providers are trying to capture government broadband stimulus funds to further their growth.
Distance learning, telemedicine and e-government efforts are growing in developing markets such as Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific.
Commercial Earth observation is expected to grow due to a new generation of satellites. The market to date has focused on military use and the building of the new satellites, but commercial data sales were expected to surpass $1 billion in 2009.
Technology development focusing on more efficient use of available bandwidth in broadcasting to serve more platforms and corporate communications and for moving large amounts of data.
More focus on interactive services, and 3-D offerings for TV viewers, focused mainly on the event, in-theater market at the moment, but there are plans to introduce this to the in-home TV market.
The government market, military and non-military, as the economy has forced governments to monitor spending more closely and seek commercially supplied solutions to meet growing government communications needs.
2010 looks to be an exciting year for the communications market. Let me know your thoughts on these areas and if there are any I’ve missed.