Satellite capacity to play catch up with supply

Monday, July 21st, 2014
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New NSR Satellite Capacity Report Projects Healthy Demand Playing Catch Up with Supply

  • Impressive Revenue Growth of 5.8% Annually till 2023 Despite Rapidly Increasing Supply Placing Pressure on Fill Rates

WILMINGTON, DE & LONDON, UK — Northern Sky Research (NSR)’s Global Satellite Capacity Supply & Demand, 11th Edition report, released today, projects new supply of over 3,000 new transponders and 2+ Tbps of HTS capacity fueled by risk-taking from key operators will far outstrip demand growth over the next decade. This demand growth will center on video/DTH, mobility, enterprise data/trunking and broadband access, and evolve in both developed and developing regions. Yet, despite the reality of oversupply in a few regions and bands, NSR projects the market will grow by 76%, from about $11.8 Billion currently to $21.1 Billion by 2023.

On the supply side, NSR expects that nearly 3,000 transponders will be added based on satellites entering service between now and 2023. “There are many different dynamics behind this overall supply figure,” notes Prashant Butani, Senior Analyst at NSR and co-author for the report. “C-band growth looks flattish despite a peak during the 2016 to 2019 timeframe. Nearly every satellite being launched will carry traditional Ku-band, thus adding 1500 transponders of just Ku-band by 2017. This continues until the effect of HTS supply begins to eat into the broader demand, a phenomenon not expected until the end of this decade. For HTS it remains a ‘land-grab phase’ where business cases beyond broadband access need to pan out before most ventures turn profitable”, states Butani.

Global demand paints a cautiously optimistic picture, with over 1,300 transponders of new demand for traditional C, Ku, and Ka-band capacity arising by 2023, supplemented by nearly 1 Tbps of new GEO-HTS demand. “Looking at global demand, the hype surrounding HTS is indeed justified, with a demand growth rate of over 30% annually, compared to less than 2% for traditional FSS C, Ku, and Widebeam Ka-band capacity”, reports Blaine Curcio, Analyst and report co-author. “However, concerns about cannibalization by HTS are rather overplayed—indeed, we find that, simply put, some applications are better-suited for HTS, such as Broadband, whereas others, such as Video Distribution and DTH, will remain firmly rooted in traditional FSS. There will be some battleground applications, such as Commercial Mobility, but both traditional FSS and HTS will continue to enjoy their “bread and butter” applications moving forward”, adds Curcio.