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The Convergence of the FSS and MSS Sectors Continues

By | September 9, 2012

      It wasn’t that long ago that FSS and MSS operators pretty much lived in separate worlds and both were happy with their roles in the satellite eco-system. However, over the last year, things have begun to change with FSS operators looking to play a much more expanded in role markets such as in-flight connectivity and maritime communications. Both SES and Intelsat are now targeting the in-flight connectivity market with its capacity, and both operators see this as a growing opportunity. Intriguingly both have announced deals in this area very recently. Certainly, conversations we have had at IBC today suggest this trend in only likely to continue. It shows a greater flexibility than ever before in our industry. Intelsat’s strategy is particularly interesting, and its EpicNG announcement is definitely a statement of intent in terms of the direction it intends to go, and where it is targeting new business. Likewise, Inmarsat will be heavily targeting broadcasters next year when its Global Xpress satellite constellation gets up and running.
         Martin Turner, an ex-BBC employee is now director of Inmarsat’s media efforts and will now aiming to do deals with news broadcasters and others to help journalists in the field cover different events and breaking news. Inmarsat is having to adapt to a new world order, where it core markets will see more competition than ever before. By creating new market niches, and using Global Xpress to target new customer verticals, Inmarsat is trying to ensure future revenue streams. The convergence of FSS and MSS operators is definitely entering into a new phase. With maritime, in-flight connectivity, and oil and gas likely to be hot markets for modern communications and video, this is great news for the satellite industry. While there is more opportunity, there is more competition. But, it is exciting to watch, as the FSS and MSS sectors come together and fight for business in these key growth verticals going forward. It promises to be quite a scrap.

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