NSR’s newly released Land Mobile via Satellite 5th Edition (LMvS5) forecasts cumulative revenues of over $19.4 billion over the 2016-2026 timeframe. After experiencing a challenging 2015-2016, MSS operator land revenues have rebounded to single-digit growth, due to an increasingly diverse product portfolio and (slight) rebounds in energy markets, which had depressed the Land Mobile via Satellite market in earlier years.
“While the energy markets remain slow, overall market growth is driven by greater sales of hotspot devices and consumer handhelds, such as the Globalstar SPOT and Thuraya Satsleeve,” states Alan Crisp, Senior Analyst at NSR and report lead author. “Sales of Push-To-Talk devices, on the other hand, remain slow with a long sales funnel depressing growth opportunities in the short to medium term, despite previous technical issues. Product diversification is critically important for all players in the Land Mobile value chain, especially as traditional handheld devices are expected to experience revenue declines after peaking in 2020 as customers migrate to more versatile solutions.
Additionally, the increase in terrestrial network reliability, continued expansion of the cellular network footprint, and development of 5G networks all result in greater levels of competition than ever before for mobile satellite operators and service providers. Delays in satellite launches also continue to plague new constellations, kicking a further uptick in revenue growth further down the proverbial road.
Reducing costs, especially for equipment, is key to growing market share. Partnering and integrating with terrestrial network operators, and further marketing to consumers, will also be required as part of strategies to remain relevant in a market where traditional satellite handhelds contribute little growth to the bottom line.