Broadband-by-satellite to boom by 2015

Chris Forrester

Global Industry Analysts, in a new report, says the global market for broadband satellite services is expected to witness steady growth, fuelled by growing user expectations and huge growth of internet services at the global scale. With the capability of satellites to serve multiple users and provide an economical solution to the problem of 'last mile', broadband satellite services market is projected to reach $6.4bn by the year 2015.

The San Jose-based company says high-speed networking is witnessing phenomenal rise in demand over the past few years. With several new and innovative applications utilizing the existing bandwidth and continuing to drive the requirement for higher rates, the broadband satellite services market would play a pivotal role in the coming years. Next generation satellite systems are expected to equip total capacity in gigabit per second and it is likely that systems in the future would feature capacities in the range of terabits.

“Despite robust growth in capacity, satellite systems do not stand any chance against their terrestrial alternatives (fibre optics systems) in terms of capacity offered,” says the report. “Nevertheless, considering the novel features and unmatched advantages of satellite systems such as global coverage, ubiquity of service, and multicasting, with respect to contents and access, satellite broadband assures an increasingly dominant role in numerous applications. In the present scenario, terrestrial networks dominate the market for broadband services. However, satellites are most suitable for broadband applications that require provision of services, such as software distribution and multimedia videoconferencing, to multiple sites spread across distant locations. Satellites can be very effective in providing interconnectivity between high-speed networks dispersed widely across various geographic locations.

“Satellite broadband services industry reserves a huge growth potential considering the fact that a majority of potential consumers across the globe are void of access to wire line broadband services. Consumers falling in this group pose principal targets for satellite broadband internet services. The satellite broadband's capability to extend unique services such as rural telephony, e-distance learning, and telemedicine services is enticing the prospective market participants in a major way. Several governments in different parts of the world are opting for satellite services to reinforce broadband networks in their respective regions,” says the study.

“Globally, the number of subscribers and sites for broadband satellite services is expected to surpass the 3 million mark by 2010. North America is expected to continue its dominance in the market. Europe is expected to post the fastest compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the period 2006-2015. North America also dominates the global broadband satellite services in terms of revenues,” adds the study.