New Report Examines Commercial Geostationary Satellite Transponder Markets For North America.
This Research Service describes the commercial satellite telecommunications market in the North America region. It measures and forecasts transponder supply and demand in that region. The market examined herein is the "capacity" market, meaning the market for leasing of geostationary (GEO) satellite transponders to parties that will use this capacity for a number of satellite applications including video broadcast, telephony, and networking. The capacity market is generally equivalent to traditional fixed satellite services (FSS) and broadcasting satellite services (BSS) markets. Emerging services (such as satellite-based direct internet access (DIA)) are included in our forecasts.
Video Applications Drive Market Growth
The explosion of video applications and the consequent need of more bandwidth to distribute it are driving growth in the North American commercial satellite transponder market. The unexpected fast growth of high definition (HD) has, in particular, been a significant driver, with video services accounting for 40 percent of total demand for transponders in 2006. In terms of total supply capacity, three players - Intelsat, SES Americom, and Telesat - presently dominate the market. These three together account for 82 percent of the total available capacity in the region.
However, intense competition from terrestrial wireline and wireless technologies will limit the penetration that satellite applications can achieve. Inherent limitations in satellite technology will also remain an important hurdle that providers need to overcome. "In the face of intense competition, satellite service providers must develop new strategies to overcome significant obstacles," notes the analyst of this research service. "These include forming alliances with operators already in the market and developing new applications in the emerging services."
Expected Shift from C-band to Ka-band
The bulk of the transponder market is made up of C- and Ku-band transponders, with Ku-band becoming more common in 2006. With regard to leased transponder capacity share by band in 2006, C-band accounted for 30.2 percent, Ku-band for 69.5 percent and Ka-band for only 0.2 percent. During the forecast period, supply and demand for Ka-band is expected to grow and decrease for C-band capacity. This trend signifies a shift of leased transponder capacity from C-band to Ka-band for applications requiring smaller outdoor units, with higher bandwidth consumption and more efficient use of the spectrum.
"Applications in video distribution and other emerging networking applications are the future of satellite services and the leasing of transponders," says the analyst. "The ability of operators to understand these trends and develop strategies to take advantage of them will determine their success in the market."
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