How will HTS Change the Satellite Ecosystem?

On the 27th of January 2016, at the European spaceport located in Kourou, French Guiana, Intelsat launched its first ever EpicNG high throughput satellite; which will deliver coverage over the Americas and North Atlantic region.

It was a big moment for the industry.

The launch of EpicNG is a topic that’s been very front of mind for me recently as I researched the agenda for 2016’s VSAT Latin America show. Speaking with many different people from across the industry I was surprised to find that many people have differing opinions on what the impact of HTS will be.

HTS promises to deliver high capacity at a fraction of the cost, opening up satellite connectivity to new industries and markets. “If prices fall by half, we would treble the demand for capacity” one Latin American service provider told me.

However, many people suggested that satellite operators are reluctant to lower the price of capacity too much, in case capacity demand doesn’t rise to meet this fall. Leaving service providers paying the same amount for what they know should be cheaper capacity, and putting the industry in a “chicken and egg” type situation.

Another issue that arises with HTS is the lack of flexibility it offers service providers, in an already notoriously inflexible industry. HTS ground infrastructure is, for the most part, controlled by the satellite operator. Leaving VSAT operators and service providers restricted and will little room to innovate and differentiate their service from the competition.

What does this mean for the traditional satellite business model? And how will the value chain look in a few years’ time when HTS is fully operational? These are some of the questions that leading satellite operators, VSAT operators and service providers will be discussing at this year’s VSAT Latin America show taking place on the 21-22nd of June in Sao Paulo.

If you would like to join the discussion and you are interested in speaking, attending or sponsoring the show, please email suzanne.rankine@informa.com for more information and to receive a copy of the draft agenda.

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