Microwave Journal

VSAT Weathers Economic Storm

August 1, 2009

The Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies (GaAs) service report, “GaAs Device Opportunities from the SATCOM/VSAT Market: 2008-2013,” concludes that long design cycles and pent-up demand driven by the consumer sector will allow the very small aperture terminals (VSAT) market to weather the current economic storm better than most communications markets, translating into steady demand for GaAs devices.


GaAs semiconductor technology is used extensively in VSAT satellite communications systems for both the space and ground segments of the market. Strategy Analytics forecasts that GaAs device demand will grow at a CAAGR (compound annual average growth rate) of over 4 percent from 2008 to 2013. MMICs will dominate the volume and represent 57 percent of total GaAs revenues.

“The VSAT industry has had to learn some tough lessons over the past decade, but the result is a model focused on value-added services which is now being augmented by growth prospects in the broadband access arena,” noted Asif Anwar at Strategy Analytics. “Advances in technology and economies of scale have combined to increase data rates while simultaneously reducing prices, opening up the opportunities for satellite communications to compete against other wireless and wired broadband technologies.”

Anwar concluded, “We believe the demand for broadband services will fuel the rollout of VSAT systems through 2013, creating steady demand for GaAs semiconductors. The largest opportunities are for Ku- and Ka-band power amplifiers, where despite some threats from alternative technologies, GaAs will remain the dominant solution.”