By February 3, 2020 Read More →

Satellite demand set to grow four-fold in the next 10 years

In its latest analysis of satellite manufacturing and launch services, Euroconsult projects that the satellite market will experience a radical transformation in the quantity, value and mass of the satellites to be built and launched with a four-fold increase in the number of satellites at a yearly average of 990 satellites to be launched, compared to a yearly average of 230 satellites in the previous decade.

The market will reach $292 billion over the next decade. This reflects a 28% increase over the previous decade which totalled $228 billion in revenues.

“Newcomers like Oneweb, SpaceX’s Starlink or Amazon’s Project Kuiper are becoming the largest owners of assets in orbit, challenging the satellite industry in many ways,” said Maxime Puteaux, senior consultant at Euroconsult.

These changes are characterised by several factors. LEO and MEO constellations are expected to account for 77% of the projected demand in the next decade driven by broadband projects like SpaceX’s Starlink, Oneweb, Amazon’s Project Kuiper, Telesat LEO and SES’s O3b mPOWER.

Incumbent GEO comsat commercial satellite operators are transitioning from a legacy of GEO comsat broadcasting business to more data-centric use cases, impacting satellites orders. The gradual recovery of contracts will continue, following the low point of seven awards in 2017 with demand driven by the first orders of satellites with fully reconfigurable digital payload.

Replacement scenario

Euroconsult expects an average of 13 GEO comsat orders per year post-2020 based on a replacement scenario that considers the competition of NGSO satellite systems and the introduction of life extension services. Demand from global and regional GEO comsat operators will reach a yearly average of $8 billion over the next ten years.

Civil government agencies are projected to be the top drivers of satellite demand, accounting for 40% of the entire market value, ahead of both defence and commercial demand.

This is a result of increasing interest in space science, exploration, and Earth observation. On the defence side, a new cycle of orders is beginning with new strategies and replacement satellites needed by the US, China, Russia, Japan, India and Europe.

“While accurate projections can be challenging in an era of uncertainty, Euroconsult stands behind its numbers,” said Mr Puteaux. “We compared past forecasts to the actual numbers, and confirmed highly credible estimates.”

Euroconsult compared the number of GEO and non-GEO satellites launched from 2009 to 2018 to its forecast for that period. It showed that, in 2009, the company predicted 11% more non-GEO satellites than actually launched, and it underestimated the number of GEOs by only 3%.

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