Satellite backhaul going mainstream?


NSR’s Wireless Backhaul via Satellite, 12th Edition report, released today, forecasts annual satellite capacity revenues reaching $4 billion by 2027, serving over 3 Tbps of demand. Mobile Backhaul captures the greatest opportunities, as satellite usage increases among MNOs and becomes a widespread solution. Lower capacity prices are reviving Trunking, as new demand is emerging from previously un-addressable markets. IP Content Distribution also continued making solid progress with thousands of sites now active in this segment. “Price degradation is making it hard for satellite operators to grow revenues. However, we are approaching a trigger point at which price elasticity will help demand to take off. The topology of deployments is changing radically, from serving tens of USO-driven sites to being a mainstream solution with thousands of units per network,” states Lluc Palerm, NSR Senior Analyst and report author. “If MNOs take a pragmatic approach to network deployment, and do the math, they will realize the possibilities of Satellite Backhaul. However, awareness and perceptions are still holding growth back”. Progress in Ground Segment is vital to departure from the old paradigm, with NSR forecasting cumulative equipment revenues from 2017-27 to surpass $2.6 billion. Satcom must make the solution easy for MNOs to adopt, and consequently, end-to-end services will proliferate. After years of hype generation, 5G implementations are finally becoming real. Beyond extravagant network requirements, the true focus for Satcom must be in finding a way to fuse with ground networks via consolidating SDN/NFV technologies and integrating MNO operation platforms. Video continues to be the “cash cow” for the satellite industry, but OTT is putting that to task. Satellite is reacting by offering VoD over satellite with some promising initial experiences. While penetrating those video ecosystems will be hard, transition to heavier formats, 5G or the ongoing Media-Telecom convergence open a window of opportunity for satcom.

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