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By | August 1, 2001

      Chris Forrester, Editor

      There are increasing indicators that the broadband-by-satellite market can continue to expect solid growth. Two recent reports confirm the upward trend. Comsys, a London-based consulting group, in its annual VSAT round-up VSAT Report 2001 states the annual VSAT service industry is now valued at more than $3.5 billion (E4bn). The market has continued to grow through 2000 at a rate of 10 per cent per year, although hardware sales remain flat other than in the United States. Comsys predicts that with hardware costs continuing to fall, helped by initiatives from Gilat, Hughes and ViaSat, “Large-scale enterprise networks will increasingly benefit from the volumes and product enhancements which will spin out of the huge consumer deployments now being seen in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia,” says author Simon Bull. He continues to believe that the short to medium term growth of the industry will be found in the SME and large corporate enterprise sectors.

      Bull says that despite the problems that have afflicted the telecommunications business generally, the VSAT industry has managed to buck the trend with an overall increase in the cumulative TDMA VSAT terminal market of 20 per cent. “During 1999 and early 2000 the business suffered from the same over-inflated expectations and claims of the Internet boom as other hi-tech industries, but even discounting less credible orders, it still managed to post a sales growth rate of almost 16 per cent between 2000 and 1999.”

      Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Northern Sky Research (NSR) in a July 10 study Broadband Satellite Markets that looks at broadband satellite services predicts “sizeable long- term growth [with] satellites now recognised as the platform of choice for certain IP applications,” according to Christopher Baugh, NSR’s principal analyst.

      Moreover, NSR ties much of this expansion firmly to the DBS/DTH sector, saying: “Two-way access is the most anticipated development in the industry. While current two-way services are rather rough, future satellite access platforms based on Ka-band and advanced technology promise to better enable the market.” NSR states that DBS is the key to the residential broadband subscriber. “The current transition of many DBS companies to offer broadband services is evidence of this trend.”

      12 Global IP Via Satellite Services Market (2001-2006)- $billions*
      Satellite Segment
      Broadband Access
      IP Multicasting and Content Delivery

      * Forecasts for both markets are based on an average of multiple marketscenarios grounded in divergent market and technology-based assumptions
      Data: NSR: “Broadband Satellite Market”

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