Future of Enterprise Satellite Connectivity Services, Global, 2018
Downstream digital transformation, increased usage of IoT systems, system upgrades by large enterprises, globalization of small and medium enterprises, and remote location connectivity are driving the evolution of satellite-based connectivity services. Major challenges with the conventional geostationary satellite-based services are their high service cost, near-zero coverage for higher latitudes, complex downstream hardware, high latency, and lack of bandwidth flexibilities for the end users. In order to provide a low-cost connectivity solution addressing these challenges, existing players are investing in high throughput satellites and the downstream infrastructure. Multiple new players have entered the market with the unique value proposition of global connectivity services at prices far lower than existing prices, targeting both existing and new customers. This is resulting in a change in the value chain dynamics of the connectivity market. Existing players are responding to the changing value chain dynamics by expanding their product portfolio by investing in small satellite constellations to offer complementary services. The increasing competition is presenting multiple options for the end-user segments in regard to selecting their connectivity services. As the competition in the value chain is increasing, some stakeholders in the enterprise satellite connectivity market will emerge as winners and some others as losers.
Small satellite-based connectivity services offered by new entrants are in the testing and evaluation phase. It will therefore be a challenge to deliver affordable connectivity solutions competing against the heritage of incumbent players who are also focusing on small satellites and high throughput based services. Small satellite operators are aspiring for constellations in the low earth orbit, which means their requirements cover a large number of small satellites to be delivered within short time periods. The manufacturing domain is yet to adopt serial production completely to support this aspiration of the fast-growing segment of the space industry. The key to overcoming the challenges is to optimize and deploy low-rate serial production lines for manufacturing small-satellites and the launch hardware for the relevant launch vehicles. Further, in order to achieve seamless connectivity using small satellite constellation, a global network of multi-beam ground station terminals is required, which is non-existent at present. However, multiple incumbents are investing aggressively in the downstream infrastructure. New entrants are also partnering with existing ground station service providers to offer global seamless connectivity solutions. This study provides a 360-degree analysis of the evolution of the enterprise satellite connectivity market and recommends do's and don’ts to different stakeholders in the value chain.