Flat panel satellite antennas ready for takeoff

NSR’s Flat Panel Satellite Antennas, 3rd Edition (FPA3) report, released today, forecasts cumulative FPA equipment sales to reach $7.9 billion by 2027. As the only multi-client report on the FPA market today, NSR’s FPA3 finds aeronautical equipment will drive revenue growth for manufacturers, while fixed broadband applications on non-GEO satellites will be the main, long-term volume market. While flat panel antenna technology, more specifically phased array antennas, have been deployed for many years, cost and performance have been major obstacles inhibiting the wide acceptance of this technology. “The growing demand for in-flight connectivity, plus the necessity of using a low profile for air-drag concerns, justifies the development of complex phased array antennas in the commercial aeronautical market. This development has allowed the tide of technology to rise across other verticals, allowing for the entrance of FPA manufacturers targeting the land-mobile and maritime sectors,” stated Dallas Kasaboski, NSR Analyst and report lead author. “Concerning satellite broadband, every day brings us closer to the potential deployment of non-GEO satellite constellations. Yet, the fast beam-steering and pointing required to connect with these satellites will necessitate improvement on ground equipment technology, and only once prices drop to better compete with parabolic antennas will we see a large take-up of FPAs for fixed applications.” Given increasing in-flight connectivity (IFC) take-up by airlines, growing demands from the maritime passenger segment, and the established land government vertical, NSR expects FPA equipment revenues from mobile applications to dominate the forecast, responsible for 92% of the market share by 2027. Mid-way through the forecast, as LEO-HTS constellations such as those planned by OneWeb and SpaceX are launched, NSR expects economies of scale and overall improved FPA performance to allow manufacturers to target the large addressable markets for satellite broadband and enterprise connectivity. Currently, at least twenty manufacturers are in various stages of development and deployment of FPA solutions. NSR’s FPA3 details the progress of each and the growing maturity and partnership seen in the industry value chain, which will drive cost and performance improvements, allowing for more successful business models and greater access to satellite communications worldwide.


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