With rapid development of new technologies and a colossal increase in mobile devices and internet usage, there’s a new pressure on connectivity and a question mark over the future role of satellite.
We ran a survey to take stock of the current industry. Everyone from C-level Satellite operators to end-users from maritime, oil and gas and the aviation industry responded. The results are in, here are your top 7 predictions:
- Over the next 5 years, the satellite industry will see a huge amount of change
Pressure from new technologies LEO and HTS will change the landscape of the industry a great deal. While many agree that innovation will enable entry into new markets, it’s yet to be seen whether the major players will remain the same, or if new providers will disrupt.
- LEO innovation will have the biggest impact on the industry
40% said LEO technology will impact the industry the most, enabling the satellite industry to manage the ‘significant data increases’. 30% said antenna innovations will drive the most change, with flat panel antennas suggested to be revolutionary.
- Cruise will be the biggest growth area for satellite connectivity, closely followed by unconnected populations
With the cost of smart devices lowering, 21 billion connected devices expected to be on the planet by 2020 and the falling cost of satellite capacity thanks to HTS and other innovations, VSAT connectivity will be a key player in connecting the unconnected. Whilst growth in satellite is expected across maritime, aviation, military and oil and gas, you said VSAT will make the most gains in cruise and unconnected populations.
- Whilst LEO has the potential to be revolutionary, implementation may be challenging
Half of those asked agreed that LEO will not only become a reality, but also has the potential to be change the face of the industry. Although its deployment wouldn’t come without challenges, ‘exceptional costs’ and ‘challenging development’ being listed among these.
- HTS will be important to the satellite ecosystem over the next few years
High-throughput technologies (HTS) will enhance data rate capabilities. Expected to generate $4.9 billion in revenue by 2024, it’s not surprising HTS is being seen as vital for VSAT survival. HTS will enable more applications, dramatically changing the price point and increasing demand for satellite technology.
- Satellite will be a crucial technology in the 5G world
How satellite will integrate into the 5G network is yet to be seen, but satellite is expected to add significant value to the 5G ecosystem – perhaps in areas of limited infrastructure, or where current mobile networks are saturated.
- Integration of satellite with other technologies is crucial
It’s been predicted the most successful network of the future will be a ‘system of systems’. It’s widely agreed that a ‘seamless integration’ is important, with it being ‘impractical to connect end devices to satellite’.