This Hyperbola blog post is written by guest writer and expert on the commercial satellite business, Roger Rusch, President, TelAstra, Inc. who makes his analysis of the main themes apparent at the Satellite 2012 communications satellite conference held in Washington D.C. during March.
The satellite communications industry is thriving. Profits are growing but there are signs that it may be slowing down a bit. Some of the new satellite launches have been stretched out. That said, due to the natural replenishment ordering cycle, the number of commercial GEO satellites ordered dropped from 28 in 2010 to 17 in 2011. Meanwhile, most satellite operators are expecting a larger fraction of unused capacity as new higher-capacity satellites are launched. But while these small changes seem unlikely to disturb the ‘steady as you go’ growth of the business, in fact there are indications are that the satellite industry could be in midst of some major, even revolutionary, changes.
The good news:
Broadband services via Ka-band are transforming the business
Big Ka-band satellites have 10 times throughput of the ordinary C- and Ku-band satellites and cost one fifth as much to transmit a Megabyte of information. The technology is now generally ...