According to a report recently released by Engalco, multi-billion dollar global markets for ground-based broadband satellite communications transceivers are expected within this decade. A series of spacecraft are being launched with highly broadband throughput capabilities. Hylas1 and Ka-SAT are already in orbit and Ka-SAT’s total throughput is 70 Gbps. Even more advanced classes of spacecraft typically have 100 Gbps or greater capacities. They include ViaSat1 (130 Gbps), several Inmarsat satellites, Jupiter 1, MegaSat and Hylas2. Major OEMs such as Boeing and Space-Systems Loral are building these spacecraft and subscriber access is now a reality. The main aim of this effort is to provide high-speed broadband “fiber-like” Internet access to mainly rural subscribers, who would otherwise remain on the “wrong side of the digital divide”.

The K/Ka microwave and millimeter-wave bands are generally used with the downlinks centered around 20 GHz and the uplinks centered around 30 GHz. Engalco’s report—dubbed BSAT1—provides shipments, average selling prices and total available market data for the ground-based (consumer) transceivers, covering the 2010 to 2019 time scale. BSAT1 focuses on 11 geographic regions and also the following three specified groups of these regions:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and N. Africa, Central Europe, Western Europe (collectively termed “Europe, Middle East and Africa” or “EMEA”).
  • South East Asia, China and N.E. Asia, South Asia, Russia and Central Asia.
  • Oceana and Pacific, Latin America and North America.

The results of Engalco’s research indicate that global shipments just exceeded one-third of a million in 2010 and will increase to almost 2 billion in 2019. By annual value the total (global) markets were almost $1.4 B in 2010 and will increase at an average annual rate of 9.6 percent to reach nearly $3.2 B in 2019. There are, however, substantial regional variations in terms of both absolute values and monetary growth rates. In 2010 the Americas enjoyed the bulk of the market with a share of 74 percent—mainly due to the US. But by 2019 Engalco predicts the pattern will have changed radically, as shown in the pie chart.