12 Jan 2023
It’s an exciting time for communications and connectivity across the globe. Valued at $29.98 billion in 2022, according to Fortune Business Insights, the global satellite communications service market is expected to reach nearly $57 billion by 2030. It’s a promising era to bridge the digital divide by connecting remote areas on land and across vast stretches of the sea.
Many emerging trends in the satcom market are being motivated by a future-oriented philosophy. Any development today needs to target the requirements that businesses will have in five to ten years’ time. Moreover, satcom solutions should remain agile, scalable, and upgradeable in light of the ever-growing demand for fast and reliable connectivity. As 2023 kicks-in, let us review the prevailing trends that will determine the landscape in the near future.
Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology is taking centrestage in this process and is forecasted to account for 40% of this market. Flat antennas powered by LEO satellite constellations are expected to disrupt the communications market. Offering high-speed connectivity over cost-effective terminals, the sales in this product category are estimated to grow to $11 billion (corresponding to over 1.4 million units) by 2028. Initially flat antennas were reserved for land use, but in Q4 2022, Starlink introduced its product for the maritime segment, creating real competition for traditional GEO-based VSAT systems. Compact and easy-to-set-up, these terminals offer 350 Mbps of speed both on land at sea. Positioned closer to the surface of the Earth, LEO constellations support faster data exchange, resulting in lower latency. The latter, in turn, is a crucial condition for the operation of modern applications, and as such, the backbone of digital evolution.
Satellite connectivity is undergoing a big transformation. From an airtime-focused business, satcom is developing into an “As-a-Service”-based industry with a range of services delivered in the digital space. This change is being driven by the development of new technologies such as IoT, AI, and blockchain as well as the demand for ‘always-on’ connectivity among the workers of tomorrow. This is not limited to communication alone, but also business activity. Recognising this trend, IEC Telecom Group has been developing specialized applications for a range of operations to help customers on land and at sea to improve operational efficiency by leveraging the latest advancements in digitalisation, wherever their duty takes them.
Read more on this topic: “THE COMING OF AGE OF GLOBAL SATELLITE CONNECTIVITY“
Increased availability of satcom connectivity means a greater emphasis on cyber security. Modern satcom solutions offer end-to-end encrypted services. Yet, this is only one of the items on the long cyber security list. The surging number of hacking attacks and growing number of viruses demand that IT managers develop a multi-layer system to prevent risks coming from outside as well as protect the infrastructure from the possibilities of unintended contamination originating from within organisation. The success of cyber security implementation depends on policies which must be custom-made for each specific case. As such, the role of satcom service operators has shifted from enablers to consultants, helping customers to leverage digitalization without exposure to cyber-attacks.
Digitally-enabled operations empower decision-makers with data-driven recommendations. This is enabling better operational choices, saving on consumable resources and ultimately contributing to lowering emissions, paving the way for a green future and better decarbonisation strategies. It is reported that adoption of digital technologies can reduce carbon emissions by 38%. As a case in point, with IoT, smart mobility, and artificial intelligence, the maritime sector is empowered to optimise routes, decrease fuel consumption, track asset performance, and reduce idle time and inefficient processes – resulting in the prevention of millions of tons of CO2. There are already reports of CO2 emissions savings of 18%+ across early digital decarbonization adopters.
Read more on this topic: ENHANCING VSAT: FROM DIGITALISATION TO DIGITAL DECARBONISATION
From humanitarian field missions and e-government to remote maintenance and real-time maritime updates, satellite connectivity empowers businesses and communities with services that may otherwise be unreachable. With this rapidly evolving digital landscape, connectivity isn’t only about doing more. It is about utilising digital products for smarter workflow, seamless communications, and sustainable environment-friendly processes.