According to Euroconsult’s latest report, Mobile Satellite Communications Markets Survey: Prospects to 2024, the Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) industry faces multiple challenges, including increasingly omnipresent mobile VSAT, troop withdrawals, government budget reductions, and unfavorable economics in the shipping industry. The future of the MSS industry now depends on how fast MSS operators can adapt to this new market environment.
Despite all challenges, the active MSS terminal base grew at a CAGR of 9% over the past five years with over 3.3 million active MSS terminals deployed globally in 2014. Wholesale service revenues stood at around $1.3 billion in 2014, a 5% growth over that of 2013.
“The growth is mostly from lower-end markets and due to an increase in airtime prices by certain operators,” said Wei Li, Senior Consultant at Euroconsult and editor of the report. “Both the service quality and affordability of mobile VSATs are improving continuously; they are gaining ground in high-end markets, particularly in energy, maritime and commercial aviation.”
The overall MSS market remains extremely dynamic, with a large number of innovative L-band products such as IsatHub, Iridium GO and SatSleeve launching to market. M&A financing activities are also transpiring in the industry at both the MSS operator and service provider levels. The launch of new generation constellations for MSS operators will bring significant changes to the market landscape; competition will further extend beyond the traditionally defined L-band centric MSS community to involve more FSS operators such as Intelsat, SES, Telenor and many others.
Euroconsult forecasts the MSS market (excluding the Ka-band Global Xpress from Inmarsat) growing at an annual rate of 7% in number of terminals to reach more than 6.8 million active terminals by 2024. Wholesale service revenues are projected to grow at a ten-year CAGR of 4% over 2014 to 2024. “Land should be the largest market segment by 2024 with more than $900 million in wholesale service revenues, while the aeronautical segment will be the fastest growing vertical market in terms of revenue, with a 9% growth in service revenues over the coming decade,” concluded Li.