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Mobile Satellite Services Moving into Mainstream with New Products and Services

03 июля 2007
NSR estimates the global mobile satellite services (MSS) market will grow from 1.8 million in-service units in 2005 to more than 6.7 million units at the end of 2012. L-band equipment will dominate the market, while Ku-band and, to a lesser extent, C-band will grow incrementally.

One indicator of the health of the MSS sector is the entrance of new players such as Inmarsat, TerreStar, ICO and MSV in the satellite handheld business. The high growth rate of handhelds, aggressive and new unlimited pricing plans and the upcoming deployment of MSS with an Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) are all likely to change the face of the industry, lead to some consolidation and expand the penetration rate of the MSS solutions into more mainstream mobile markets. The major MSS growth area is still narrowband services with steady double-digit growth and more than 4.5 million in-service units projected by 2012 with handhelds making up slightly less than half of the total overall base. NSR also expects large data market growth rates fueled by a variety of applications such as asset tracking, location tracing, traffic information, sensor readings, machinery-to-machine communications and automatic reporting.

"The MSS market has benefited over the last few years from renewed interest and investment," stated Claude Rousseau, analyst for NSR, "and innovative solutions with expanded service suites have brought greater capabilities to users for mobile voice, data, video and television. The MSS sector is still a high-risk endeavor, and one risky business that many will be examining over the next few years is the MSS-ATC market."

Should MSS-ATC broadband operators attract large numbers of consumer and public agency subscribers, satellite handhelds will gain a stronger foothold than ever before in the traditional mobile voice and media sector. However, delays have pushed back the launch of services, and few partnerships for the ATC segment have been signed to date.

Financial institutions have opened their pockets to large MSS capital investments thanks in large part to a series of profitable quarters and rebuilt industry credibility after they rebounded from the highly–publicized failures at the turn of the century. The obvious reach and coverage of MSS has broadened recently and should grow as some 60 satellites for MSS GEO fleets or LEO constellations will be launched in the next five years.

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