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Setbacks Aside, Land-Based Mobility Offers $18.1 Billion Revenue Potential

By | December 15, 2016
Taiwan’s high-speed railway, which poses an opportunity for satellite among other land-based communications. Photo: Wikimedia

Taiwan’s high-speed railway, which poses an opportunity for satellite among other land-based communications. Photo: Wikimedia

[Via Satellite 12-15-2016] Despite glitches and delays, land-based mobility in the satellite market will generate $18.1 billion in revenue over the next decade, Northern Sky Research‘s (NSR) newly released “Land-Mobile via Satellite, 4th Edition (LMvS4)” report projects. The market is highly dependent on new products and timely launch of higher bandwidth satellites, which leverage increased bandwidth demand brought about by use of Personal Electronic Devices (PED) in the field. The recent Iridium Next launch delays just adds to a growing list of bad news that puts a damper on industry expectations.

“The land-mobile via satellite market is impacted by recent economic woes, negative currency conversion factors, launch delays, unsuccessful product launches and low oil prices,” states Claude Rousseau, research director at NSR and report co-author. “Despite this difficult context, total retail revenues were up in 2015/2016, and demand continues to rise in underserved and remote areas, which are core markets for the [Mobile Satellite Services] MSS industry in an increasingly competitive market.”

The picture is far from depressed with more services using new capacity from Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) High Throughput Satellites (HTS) and eventually non-GEO-HTS systems that give better cost-per-bit economics, which NSR estimates to add approximately $2.8 billion in cumulative HTS retail revenues by 2025. The traditional satellite handheld business is still adding new subscribers, but the focus has shifted toward linking personal electronic devices to the world via satellite, which drives the addition of new products and multi-mode connectivity solutions such as consumer handhelds, hotspots and push-to-talk.