Cambridge MA September 21, 2015 - NSR's newly released Government and Military Satellite Communications, 12th Edition report forecasts demand from global government and military customers for satellite communications continues to grow -- but challenges persist in terms of budgets, proprietary versus commercial offerings, and how new technologies fit into the Government and Military users' agenda. With more than 80 Gbps of HTS capacity demand, and more than $8 Billion in Retail Revenues by 2024, there continues to remain bright spots of activity in what looks to be an improving market in a disputed spending environment.
"2018 will be an inflection point for military mobility where a steady shift away from traditional Land-centric applications towards Maritime and Airborne applications will occur," states report co-author and Senior Analyst, Brad Grady. "That shift comes not only as battlefield strategies continue to become more mobile, flexible, and rapidly deployable -- but, as the theatre of operations slowly shift to wider conflict zones, and oceanic environments."
"For Unmanned platforms, high data rate applications like slow motion HD videos will drive demand in HTS terminals towards the latter part of the forecast. However, Ku-band terminals are expected to retain the major share of UAS in-service units until 2024," stated report co-author and NSR Analyst Prateep Basu. Combined with GEO-HTS and L-band offerings, UAS platforms will account for the majority of retail revenue gain for managed services -- more than 30% of this $4 billion market over the next ten years.
Beyond mobility applications, Fixed VSAT markets have been particularly hard-hit, as terrestrial options even in remote or austere environments expand and forward deployed locations see consolidation. Here again, HTS and "military-friendly" frequencies such as FSS/GEO-HTS Ka-band or FSS X-band will be bright spots of growth. Likewise, narrowband land-mobile applications for troop and vehicle tracking, C2 applications, and otherwise connecting disadvantaged end-users will be the largest source of new In-service units over the next ten years -- fueled by the steady refresh and replenishment of equipment coming back from deployment.
As the market transitions towards HTS and mobility, bulk leasing will continue to be hard-hit and decline over the next ten years -- feeling the pressure from proprietary capacity, budget cuts, intensifying price competition and troop draw-downs. With emerging markets leaning more towards a managed service model, and increasingly strong talks in developed markets, the commercial satellite services value-chain will have a large role to play in the Government and Military Markets over the next ten years.