Billions of dollars in government and commercial mobility contracts are riding on the successful development of satellite communications innovations to support land, maritime and aeronautical applications. This was a key takeaway for delegates attending the Applied Innovation Conference organized recently by the Global VSAT Forum (GVF) and media partner Via Satellite in Washington, D.C.
From flat-panel antennas and enhanced modems, to small satellites and advanced cyber-security solutions, satellite communications innovators showed up in strength to participate in the conference’s “shark tank” sessions, where analysts, engineers and commercial directors from every layer of the industry considered how, when, where – and with what financial implications – satcom mobility breakthroughs will be applied.
During the opening session, which was Chaired by Caleb Henry, Assistant Editor of Via Satellite Magazine, projections provided by Euroconsult, a Paris-based satcom consultancy, set the stage for the conference sessions. Indicators presented by Euroconsult’s Principal Advisor, Susan J. Irwin, included the following:
• In-flight connectivity revenue will surge from $525m in 2015 to $4.4billion in 2025, with passenger connectivity innovations and the ‘smart plane’ driving growth.
• The high throughput satellite capacity supply for maritime will increase more than five-fold by 2021 driving demand for new, more bandwidth intense applications.
• Land-mobile growth will be dominated by M2M terminals, with a huge addressable market enabling strong growth in volume of deployed systems. The vast majority of M2M Terminals are low data rate, low cost L-band terminals.
Revenue growth will come from VSATs – fewer terminals – higher cost.
Hosted by Intelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite communications operators, the conference’s Gold Sponsor was Kymeta, a Seattle-based developer of metamaterials-based antenna technology, with Silver Sponsorship provided by Phasor, a Virginia-based provider of satcom mobility antennas. GVF’s event was held in coordination with other top industry associations, including: the Mobile Satellite Users Association (MSUA), the Satellite Industry Association (SIA), the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), and the Washington Space Business Roundtable (WSBR).
“The Applied Innovation Conference identified mobility challenges posed by new user requirements, as well as the technology solutions that are being implemented to meet those challenges,” said David Hartshorn, Secretary General of GVF. “This is being achieved by dozens of companies whose innovations can be seen in the latest designs of satellites, earth station equipment, networking, and delivery of broadband communications and broadcasting.”
Featured innovations included antennas; amplifiers; modulation and coding; acceleration; bandwidth management; constellations; interference management; online training; payloads; propagation effect mitigation; user interfaces; and cost reduction methods.
Companies whose innovations are shaping the future of satcom mobility will be provided with further opportunities to engage potential buyers through an agreement between GVF and Via Satellite Magazine. As the Exclusive Media Partner for the event, Via Satellite Magazine will publish a GVF industry supplement that will be bound into the May 2017 issue of the publication.
In addition, based on strong industry demand GVF is planning to hold follow-on Applied Innovation programs; further updates will be forthcoming.