Euroconsult’s Ground Segment Analysis 2021 report provides a strategic overview of all ground-based elements for key downstream services, assesses global ground station trends and user terminals for Earth Observation and Satcom applications.
The downstream space market has witnessed a significant increase in the number of ground stations for the commercial satcom and Earth Observation markets, with overall revenues forecast to reach $7.5 Billion by 2030, driven by the rapidly expanding demand for data services and user terminals. While the broadcast element has declined, this is being offset by the growth in the data services segment.
The accelerating demand for consumer broadband and mobile has resulted in the user terminal market providing major growth opportunities, with value predicted to more than double to $2.7 Billion in 2030. The Euroconsult report contrasts the rapid growth with that of traditional ground stations and explains capacity demand and the enabling effect of flat panel antennas in comparison with VSAT terminals, as well as the phased array / electronically steerable antenna sub-segment where its growth in potential value for tracking multiple satellites in the maritime and aerospace sectors is forecast.
Euroconsult highlights the need for more ground station facilities positioned to take advantage of the proliferating LEO satcom market, along with the historical lack of funding at mid- latitudes, resulting in a more recent large increase in ground stations at locations more diverse than previously developed.
The reports identifies extensive US defense opportunities and lesser demand in Europe and Asia. Findings reveal peak investment in user terminals coincided with Middle Eastern conflicts, with slightly lower investment in recent years. The report highlights how this situation will change from 2023, with new investment in the billions of dollars expected.
SurePacôme Revillon, Euroconsult CEO stated “The ground segment ecosystem is at a turning point, driven by technology innovation and changes in demand patterns from private and government clients. We have strengthened our research and strategic analysis to capture the unique dynamics of the ground segment industry.”
Analysis of the broadcast segment indicates major changes in the next decade via terrestrial competition, a temporary boost to the market as a result of frequency reallocation in the US and the growth in the data (broadband internet and IOT) sectors. With newer High Throughput Satellites (HTS), new antennas will be needed to track mega constellations, driving a huge demand in new frequency needs.
Euroconsult consultant, Alexandre Corral, said: “With a recent trend to virtualize Ground Stations to enable greater flexibility, the report explains how this is especially relevant to the areas of Earth Observation and mega-constellations, as it is expected to drive down costs with a shift of specific Ground Station functions from CAPEX to OPEX as more functionality can be moved into the cloud e.g. Earth Observation and Internet of Things (IOT) utilizing Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, virtualizing the services in line with Ground Station as a Service trends”
The user terminal market being more affected by COVID due to the reduction in activity in transport and enterprise. Euroconsult estimate the 2020 market for user terminals is $400 million lower than the 2019 market because of COVID, although this will recover as enterprise increases. For Ground Stations, Euroconsult did not see a direct impact on market revenues due to COVID, but did see delays in the equipment supply chain. In the Earth Observation market, the ground station segment actually increased.
The report highlights the large market opportunity in the ground segment, along with the continuous innovation to improve performance and cost efficiency. This improvement drives the ongoing adaptation of the ecosystem, with an acceleration in the number of M&A transactions and strategic partnerships to be signed over the next two years.