Research forecasts and insights into market trends for high throughput satellite technologies and services revealed during the GVF Roundtable “High Throughput Satellite 2016 - Enabling a Brave New World of Opportunity” (www.uk-emp.co.uk/current-events/hts-london-2016/) illustrated that the roll-out of next-generation services will be largely determined by the answers to two key questions: “What is the A… B… C… of Growth?” and “When will the new flat panel antenna technology be ready?”
The 6th December event was the fourth held in London and the seventh in the entire Roundtable series, which also features an annual programme in Washington DC. Attended by almost 120 representatives of the satellite industry and end-user communities, together with leading consultants, the European Space Agency, the UK’s Satellite Applications Catapult, and others, the event was sponsored by Inmarsat, Hughes, SES, iDirect, Advantech Wireless, Intelsat, and C-COM Satellite Systems.
Opening the Roundtable with ‘The Consultants, Setting the HTS Context’, industry experts Chris Baugh, President, NSR, and Stéphane Chenard, Senior Associate Consultant, Euroconsult, provided their respective in-depth analyses, the complete details of which are available for PDF download at www.uk-emp.co.uk/archived-events/hts-london-2016/programme/.
Mr Baugh’s analysis illustrated that whilst over the period 2016-2025 the number of in-orbit communications satellites is projected to be fairly constant at around +/- 8 percent of the 2016 total, this more-or-less constant volume of orbital assets will feature the progressive replacement of end-of-life FSS (fixed satellite service) spacecraft with hybrid and HTS (high throughput satellites), such that by 2025 there will be a 318 percentage point growth in the number of hybrid and HTS compared to the current number.
Martin Jarrold, Chief of International Programme Development with GVF commented regarding other key points made by Mr Baugh, “The NSR analysis shows that amongst the many advantages that HTS brings over traditional FSS satellites one advantage is a considerable reduction in the average cost per Gbps (gigabit per second) of bandwidth in orbit. Mr Baugh’s analysis of the period 2010-2020 reveals figures of US$98.48 million for FSS satellites, US$25.23 million for hybrid satellites, and US$12.22 million for HTS spacecraft.”
Mr Jarrold continued, “Most noteworthy amongst many key points in the NSR presentation was the pointer to what was described as the A… B… C… of growth, with Aeronautical, Backhaul & Consumer Broadband pointed-out as key applications stimulating continued HTS market expansion, although, very significantly, a 22 times growth in demand for HTS capacity over the period 2015-2025 will yield only a quadrupling of HTS revenues.”
The NSR analysis also pointed to the issue of developments in the expanding electronically steerable flat panel antenna (FPA) ecosystem – developments in turn driven by the demands of the commercial land mobile, maritime, and aeronautical verticals – which are key to a bigger overall, HTS-based, solutions marketplace.
Euroconsult’s Stéphane Chenard pointed to an increase in market risk and uncertainty in the satellite industry noting that traditional satellite markets (oil, gas & mining; maritime; backhaul; TV broadcast) are under competitive pressure.
Mr Chenard set-out a number of demand scenarios for key satellite markets which indicated that for Consumer Broadband HTS solutions offering 100+ Mbps (megabits per second) & 10+ GB (gigabytes) per month may unlock some markets. In respect of the Mobility ecosystem, he said more and more airlines clearly want aeronautical VSAT solutions for in-flight entertainment and connectivity, but also noted that their long-term return on this investment remains uncertain, and that the promised FPAs are urgently needed to make mobile terminals easier to adopt. In the TV market, transponder usage increased by 4.5 percent in 2015, and whilst 60 percent of 3,000 new broadcast channels were high-definition this did not significantly impact on the high throughput satellite ecosystem.
Additionally comprising four panel sessions, moderated by David Hartshorn, Secretary General, GVF; Betty Bonnardel-Azzarelli, Managing Director, AB5 Consulting; Anver Anderson, Managing Director, Anver Limited; and, Michael Pollack, CEO, Traville Group, the Roundtable programme featured a combination of presentations (also available at www.uk-emp.co.uk/archived-events/hts-london-2016/programme/) from panellists and moderated questions and answers. Featuring in the panellist line-up were:
‘The Operators… A New Focus from Orbit’ with Andrew Faiola, Sales Director Europe, Intelsat; Marco Mirante, Regional Sales Director, Europe, Hughes; Simon Gatty Saunt, Vice President Sales Europe & CIS, SES; Alessandro Modigliana, Senior Systems Architect Networks & Systems Engineering & Group CTO, Satellite Applications Catapult; Philip Haines, Head of Telecom Business Development, European Space Agency
‘New Challenges, New Markets, New Game’ with Julian Crudge, Managing Director UK, Telenor; Gerry Collins, Director, Business Development, iDirect; Michael Pollack, CEO, Traville Group; Anna Guégan, Policy Advisor, Access Partnership
‘Ground Segment… Evolved Dynamics’ with Alvaro Sanchez, Sales Manager Satellite Monitoring Systems, Integrasys; Mark Lambert, Managing Director Europe and Vice President Sales & Marketing, Advantech Wireless; Drew Klein, Vice President Business Development, C-COM Satellite Systems; Andy Lucas, Senior Vice President, Satellite Operations Vertical, Comtech EF Data
‘Is Mobility All That Matters Now?’ with Bart van Poucke, Product Manager, Newtec; Richard Roithner, Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Inmarsat; Giancarlo Pensabene, Business Development & Sales, Telespazio; Omar Iqbal, CTO Advisor, Avanti Communications
Turning to other key points arising from the event, Roundtable Chairman David Hartshorn said, “It is noteworthy that the dialogue addressed what may be described as value-chain re-invention, bringing significant changes to the valued added reseller (VAR) marketplace, and changes that will continue to impact on the nature of the accelerating transition to HTS.