Ku-band growth engine for satellite operators: Study

MUMBAI: The Ku-band market will continue to be the main growth engine for the commercial satellite operators who are aggressively targeting new markets such as mobility and other high value services in order to maintain sustained revenue expansion for the coming years, according to a report.

The NSR’s Global Assessment of Satellite Supply & Demand report says that the commercial satellite operators grew capacity leasing revenues by $635 million between 2010 and 2011.

"The Ku-band market will continue to be the main growth engine for the commercial satellite market for the coming ten years”, noted NSR Senior Analyst and the report author Patrick M. French.

“The direct-to-home (DTH) TV market alone could add $1.4 billion in net new revenues by 2021 out of $4.3 billion expected in total for the Ku-band segment. Solid Ku-band revenue gains are also expected from the video distribution, enterprise data, commercial mobility and gov/mil verticals.”

A major finding in the report is that the commercial satellite industry is finally beginning to fully grasp the significance of High Throughput Satellites (HTS) and their potential to drive new market growth in many other market verticals beyond satellite broadband access services.

The report found that all HTS markets combined could add almost $1.9 billion in net new revenues to the industry in the coming ten years, which is the second biggest gain after the Ku-band market.

"The widebeam Ka-band market, especially for the gov/mil segment in the Middle East, is also beginning to get some real traction for the industry even if total revenue growth is expected to be substantially smaller that the Ku-band or HTS side of the business," added French.

"There should also be continued strong growth in C-band video distribution services driven by expanding carriage of HD and SD channels, plus slow ramp up of 3D and eventually Ultra HD channels."

The only cloud NSR identified on the horizon was the potential for weakening C-band backhaul demand after 2015 should the industry begin to rapidly migrate to the use of HTS and O3b capacity for data-intensive 3G and 4G backhaul.

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