Maritime Satellite Communications Market To Average 7% Growth over Next Decade

High Throughput Satellites poised to reshape the competitive market landscape

Paris, Montreal, Washington D.C., February 20, 2014 – Euroconsult, the global consulting firm specializing in space markets, today forecasted that satellite capacity revenue in the global maritime market will nearly double over the next decade, with a compound annual growth rate of 7%. According to the firm’s recently-published research report on Maritime Telecom Solutions by Satellite, growth is expected to be driven mainly by increasing data consumption across all major maritime segments and the adoption of new generation broadband satellite services.

“Onboard bandwidth requirements keep growing which is driving the maritime market in a direction quite beneficial to satellite communications,” said Wei Li, Senior Consultant at Euroconsult and Editor-in-Chief of the research report. “We have observed growth in both ARPU and installations. Over the next year, a number of High Throughput Satellite (HTS) systems will become available in the maritime market, aimed at delivering three times more capacity by the end of 2014 and six times more capacity by the end of 2016. This additional capacity will drastically change the relationship between supply and demand in the market, and enable a range of new applications for the maritime community.”

Commercial supply is also expected to go through a significant expansion, both from private sector initiatives (the expansion of fleets, and new entrants) and government commercialization of proprietary systems. New entrants such as Skybox Imaging have launched their first satellites, and others, particularly in the domain of commercial meteorology and environment monitoring solutions, could follow suit in the next decade. "With this expansion in commercial supply, differentiating positions of the operators will come to the fore, with trade-offs in ground resolution, revisit, geolocation accuracy, and data prices," said Adam Keith, Director of Space & Earth Observation at Euroconsult and editor of the report. "Nevertheless, competition is increasing and with new entrants possibly pricing data and solutions very competitively, there is the potential for disruption in the market."

Euroconsult confirmed the number of terminals used for global maritime satellite communications grew at around 4% in 2013, while revenues at the satellite operator level increased by over 10%. The total size of the market reached about 348,000 active terminals in 2013 that generated more than $760 million in revenues at the satellite operator level. Established MSS services and the fast developing VSAT business contributed to the overall growth of the maritime satellite communications market.

Competition between players is intensifying on the eve of the HTS era. All major players are devoted to locking in a maximum number of vessels. The market is, however, expected to diversify in terms of end-user requirements. Rather than technologies or frequencies, the success of satellite communications players will largely depend on understanding their customers’ needs, the scale and efficiency of distribution channels, as well as the cost/quality effectiveness of their offers.

About the Report

Now in its third edition, Maritime Telecom Solutions by Satellite provides an in-depth view of the sector dynamics, analysis and forecasts for the maritime satcom market. Eight comprehensive sections provide a detailed analysis of trends and prospects within the major addressable maritime market segments, including merchant shipping, fishing, passenger ships, leisure vessels, offshore, and government. The report includes maritime infrastructure revenues by technology, MSS terminals by application and VSAT terminals by frequency band & segment, (MSS & VSAT).