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Euroconsult Projects Four-Fold Increase In Satellite Demand Over Next Decade

Rendition of the new satellite for Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration-2 in orbit; Credits: MELCO

In its latest analysis of satellite manufacturing and launch services, Satellites to be Built and Launched by 2028, 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 percent 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, Editor-in-Chief of this research product and Senior Consultant at Euroconsult.

These changes are characterized by several factors:

+ LEO and MEO constellations are expected to account for 77 percent 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.

+ 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 percent of the entire market value, ahead of both defense and commercial demand. This is a result of increasing interest in space science, exploration, and Earth observation. On the defense side, a new cycle of orders is beginning with new strategies and replacement satellites needed by the U.S., China, Russia, Japan, India and Europe.

Satellites to be Built and Launched by 2028 is a research product based on in-depth analysis of satellite applications and missions, satellite operators and users, technology advances, and the impact of these factors on the manufacturing and launch industry.

It includes a database of all satellites, regardless of mass, that were launched from 2009 to 2019, as well as satellites currently under construction, and those forecast to launch by 2028. It also provides detailed status and maturity assessments of 55 commercial constellations of five satellites or more and discusses the business cases for the four mega-constellations and their differing vertical integration strategies.

In its analysis, Euroconsult reviews strategic issues and trends for four categories of satellite operators, six types of orbit, six regions of the world, and seven distinct satellite application categories.

It provides quantitative analysis of satellite numbers, mass, and cost with forecasts based on qualitative top-down and bottom-up assessments. With separate sections for both the manufacturing and launch industries, the research covers strategic issues, industry structure, financial performance, innovation and more for each and includes detailed profiles of ten manufacturers and four launch service providers.

“While accurate projections can be challenging in an era of uncertainty, Euroconsult stands behind its numbers as the most realistic and reliable in the industry” said Maxime Puteaux. “This is the 22nd edition of our research on satellites to be built and launched and, in preparation, we compared past forecasts to the actual numbers. We confirmed that our depth of experience and comprehensive insight into the industry resulted in 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 percent more non-GEO satellites than actually launched, and it underestimated the number of GEOs by only three percent. The 2010 edition was the first report since 2000 to underestimate the non-GEO segment and subsequent editions corrected earlier over-estimates.

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