NSR’s Commercial Satellite Ground Segment, 3rd Edition report, released today, forecasts annual global revenues for the Commercial Satellite Ground Segment will grow to $15.71 billion by 2027. Set top boxes (STBs) and antennas capture the largest share of revenues, leveraging the volumes of Satellite TV.
The Ground Segment is a key enabler in the return to growth for the satellite industry. As the focus shifts from “satellites” to “networks”, VSAT platforms are more strategic than ever. Antennas have a critical role to play, unlocking verticals like Mobility or enabling new architectures like MEO and LEO constellations. With new bands growing in popularity, and throughputs skyrocketing, RF Chains need to evolve rapidly. Smallsat EO constellations are also building up demand for the EO Ground Segment.
“Terminals are to Satcom what picks and shovels were to the gold rush. During the HTS rush, it is a good time to be in the Ground Segment business,” states Lluc Palerm, NSR Senior Analyst and report author. “From infrastructure use cases, like Earth Stations or Baseband Equipment, to emerging mass markets like Consumer Broadband; or high-end applications like Aero connectivity, HTS is the common denominator driving growth,” according to Palerm.
The entire satellite industry is in the midst of a profound transformation, and the Ground Segment is no different. New technological requirements (networking, higher throughputs, sophisticated traffic manipulation tools), new architectures (FPAs, V-HTS, Non-GEOs) and evolving business models (“infrastructure-as-a-service”, risk sharing schemes, fewer-larger deals) will shape the future of the Ground Segment.
Multiple actors proposing revolutionary satellite systems often fail to recognize the importance of the Ground Segment. While committing billions to develop Space-segment technologies, they wrongly evaluate the state of development of the ground. The truth is that today, critical ground segment technologies are not ready for next-generation HTS systems (FPAs, SDN/NFV), and there will be a time lag while these technologies develop.