4th December 2018, Strand Palace Hotel, 372 Strand, London WC2R 0JJ, United Kingdom
Context Statement: The Launch of the HTS Era
The HTS 2018 Roundtable… LEOs… MEOs… GEOs offers an in-depth exploration of the drivers and trends behind the continuing massive growth potential in the market for satellite-based broadband solutions. This is a market which kick-started longer ago than you may think, because it was just earlier this year that we were reminded of the launch of the high throughput satellite (HTS) era when, in June, Thaicom announced that it was considering ways to prolong the life of IPstar, its pioneering HTS spacecraft launched as far back as 2005… 13 years ago.
The Operator as Provider
At that time IPstar was the highest capacity satellite in orbit, offering 45 Gbps of Ku-band capacity. Though projected to run out of fuel in 2022, this example of first generation HTS may exceed its in-orbit capability expectations by as much as two additional years.
Current and future generations of HTS technology provide capacity at prices significantly lower than that of the first generation exemplified by IPstar, prices which mean that satellite operators are moving to provision of services in addition to raw capacity.
The Downward Revision in Capacity Pricing (Erosion, or Market Access Enabler?)
In further illustration of the downward trend in satellite capacity pricing that has been brought about by increasing numbers of more powerful HTS spacecraft in orbit, Northern Sky Research (NSR) has shown that prices are trending between 35% and 60% lower than two years ago.
Whilst the NSR analysis addressed only geostationary satellite systems (GEO) – excluding the medium Earth orbit (MEO) O3b constellation and upcoming low Earth orbit (LEO) mega-constellation–based systems – and additionally acknowledges that the rate of price erosion is slowing, their analysis has shown that sliding prices will continue into 2019. Whilst NSR has found that multiple factors – in addition to HTS – are contributing to the pricing decline, the factor driving the sharpest decline is satellite operators that have gone low, with large connectivity deals in markets like inflight connectivity and maritime.
Indeed, inflight connectivity (IFC) providers – such as Panasonic Avionics, Global Eagle and Gogo – have been buying large sums of HTS capacity, often becoming ‘anchor’ customers that underpin the business case behind entire satellites. In the NSR analysis mobility capacity deals show the steepest pricing declines since 2016, some by slightly over 60%, with HTS consumer broadband and cellular backhaul close behind in the high 50 percentiles.
The Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia
After seeing HTS systems and technology advance over the Americas, Europe and Africa, global and regional operators in Asia are beginning to direct their attention to launching HTS satellites en masse, bringing the HTS focus back to the region, with: SES-12, Eutelsat-172b, Intelsat/JSAT, Horizons-3e, Telesat/APT Satellite Telstar-18 Vantage/Apstar-5C, and more AsiaPac HTS capacity on the way from Kacific, China Satcom and mu Space. Meassat, too, hopes to have orbited by 2021 HTS capacity to provide broadband services to Malaysia.
A year later the Indonesian government plans to have launched a high-throughput satellite to bring internet access to unreached parts its island archipelago, delivering capacity of at least 150 Gbps. With another 50 Gbps of capacity to be leased from other satellites, Indonesia’s satellite programme will be the highest capacity system designated purely for the purpose of closing a single nation’s digital divide.
Africa, too, is likely to see a deluge of new HTS capacity. Eutelsat, Spacecom, Viasat and Global IP all have Ka-band HTS spacecraft under development to bring broadband to the continent.
Hispasat, the world’s leading distributer of Spanish and Portuguese content over satellite, in partnership with Gilat Satellite Networks, will be utilising capacity from the recently launched Amazonas-5 multi-spot-beam Ka satellite, as well as Amazonas-3 Ka, to deliver consumer broadband and enterprise services to local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Brazil.
Methera and the “Capacity Density” Model
Other than GEO, in MEO the only system providing satellite broadband today is SES Networks’ constellation of 16 O3b satellites, but a new British company, Methera, with its own 16-satellite constellation idea, intends to change that, using a “capacity density” model as the key differentiator between its proposed constellation and other emerging systems.
Methera will focus capacity on extremely specific locations, targeting a small number of high-value customers, taking a village or a town from no coverage to being able to provide for everyone. Additionally, Methera may focus on working with other satellite constellations by providing additional capacity, especially for constellations where increasing throughput in a singular location would require scaling up the entire system through multiple additional satellites.
The 2018 HTS Roundtable Programme
The 2018 HTS Roundtable’s exploration will extend to evaluating the opportunities arising from a host of new applications that are being delivered into new market sectors, including into the communications on the move (COTM) ecosystem, applications are being enabled through the deployment of more-highly bandwidth efficient networks built on existing and planned HTS systems in GEO, together with planned future constellations of hundreds of non-geostationary (NGSO-HTS) global communications satellites in MEO and LEO.
HTS supply is projected to grow to nearly 2,000 Gbps by 2018, and nearly 3,600 Gbps by 2020, growth that will be overshadowed by the emergence of NGSO constellations, projects that promise massive volumes of capacity supply, low latency and global (or near-global) coverage. NGSO-HTS projects such as the continued expansion of O3b in MEO, and OneWeb, SpaceX, Telesat and LeoSat in LEO would combine to add over of 40 Tbps of capacity. And, there’s more to come…
Against this contextual background the key interesting questions are myriad. Just some examples:
Draft Programme (12-09-2018)
Across a background opening address and four 90-minute themed interactive panel sessions the Roundtable will offer an exploration of the ongoing evolution in the underpinning business and market economics of HTS, continuing to zoom-in on a range of specific analyses on the HTS ecosystem, including: The changing focus of the operators & evolution in the space segment; Emerging threats and opportunites for re-sellers in the value chain; Technology shifts in the ground segment; and, Mobility as the core revolutionary dynamic in todays broadband satcoms.
As at 12th September the Roundtable draft programme is as follows - modifications are inevitable as the programme evolves;
Opening Background Address: Satellite’s Accelerating New Dynamics – Expanding Markets, Enhanced Services & Evolving Technology Platforms
Roundtable Session 1: The Operators… New Focus & New Orbits
Roundtable Session 2: The VARs… New Challenges in an HTS World
Roundtable Session 3: The Ground Segment… Evolving Dynamics
Roundtable Session 4: Mobility, Mobility, Mobility
And after the HTS Roundtable programme…
At the conclusion of the conference GVF will hold its Annual Election for the GVF Board of Directors.
Aerospace & Defense Industry Solutions (IHS)
Aetheric Engineering Ltd
AIS Engineering Inc.
American Red Cross
Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport
Asia Broadcast Satellite
Awkard & Associates
Boeing Commercial Satellite Services
British Telecommunications Plc.
Broadcast IP Systems
Bryce Space and Technology
BT Global Services
Canadian Satellite & Space Industry Forum (CSSIF)
Cargo Transport Inc.
Castel Satcom Radio Ltd
Castle Hill Asset Management
C-COM Satellite Systems
Cell & Sat
Cerebus Satellite Services
Childrens National Health Centre
China Satellite Communications Co
Clark Belt 2.0
Cobham CTS Ltd.
Commercial Spaceflight Federation
Comms Satellite Consultants
Comsat Labs (ViaSat)
Comtech EF Data
Comtech Xicom Europe
Department of the Treasury
Dept. Homeland Security
Device Management Forum
DOD Executive Space Staff
Driscoll Children's Centre
Effective Space Solutions Limited
Encompass Government Solutions
European Space Agency (ESA)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Field, Fisher, Waterhouse LLP
Galaxy Broadband Communications
General Dynamics SatCom
Genicell Africa Corp.
Gilat Satellite Networks
Global Eagle Entertainment
Global Partners United
Global Telemedicine Group
Go Global Comms
Gutierrez & Sachs
Guy Pelham Media
Harris CapRock Government
Health Channel USA
Hughes Network Systems
Human Net Co. Ltd.
IHS Electronics & Media
Inmarsat Global Express (GX)
Inmarsat Global Government
Institution of Engineering & Technology
Intelsat GSM Ltd
Inter Agency Emergency Management
International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
JMB - UK
JSAT International Inc.
King Street Capital
Kratos Defense & Security
Link Communications Systems
Lockheed Martin Commercial Space
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Lufthansa Technik (Aircraft Modification WZ33)
Marquis Media Partners LLP
MDA Information Systems
Media Broadcast Satellite GmbH
Medweb Government & International
Ministério das Relações Exteriores
Ministério do Desenvolvimento Agrário
MTN Government Services
MTN Satellite Communications
National Physical Laboratory
National Science Foundation
National Telecommunications & Information Administration
Norges Bank Investment
Northern Sky Research
Northpoint Spectrum Development
Norwegian Space Centre
Orange Business Services
Orbital ATK Inc.
Orbital Sciences Corp.
Paradigm Communications Systems
Paul Unger NBS Search
Pro Brand International (Europe) Ltd
Relevant C Business Group (RCBG)
Royal Regiment of Scotland
Royal Saudi Airforce (C3 Project)
Sage Communication LLC
SatCom Studios LLC
Satellite Applications Catapult
Interference Reduction Group
Satellite Solutions Worldwide
Satya Capital LLP
Sea Tel Cobham
SES Government Solutions
Shell Exploration & Production
SIA (Satellite Industry Association)
Silicon Valley Space Centre
Singtel Satellite Business Group
Sintel Satellite Services
SMC (Advanced MILSATCOM Concepts)
Society of Satellite Professionals
Space Intel Report
Space Systems Loral
Spectra Group (UK) Ltd
Spectrum Integrated Solutions
Spectrum Policy Gp. Ofcom
Stellar Solutions Aerospace
Summit Ridge Group LLC
Telemedicine & eHealth Training Centre
Telenor Satellite Broadcasting
Telepulse Technologies Corp.
Ten Cate Advanced Composites Ltd.
Thales Alenia Space
ThingWorx (A PTC Company)
Thuraya Telecommunications Company
UK MOD ISS
UN - Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OVHA)
Unique Broadband Systems
University of Glamorgan
University of Surrey
US Agency for International Development
US Dept of State
US Federal Communications Commision
US International Broadcasting Bureau
US Office Foreign Disaster Assistance
US Space LLC
Vozeto Dotcom, Corp
VT iDirect Government
W.L.Pritchard & Co., LCC
Warren Communications News
Washington Mobility Systems
Wasserstein & Co.
World Broadcast Unions
Zuckert Scoutt & Rasenberger, LLP