New research from Juniper Research, the foremost experts in telecommunications markets, has found operators will generate $17 billion of additional revenue from 3GPP (Third-generation Partnership Project)‑compliant 5G satellite networks between 2024 and 2030.
It urges operators to sign partnerships with SNOs (Satellite Network Operators) which will enable operators to launch monetizable satellite-based 5G services to their subscribers. SNOs possess capabilities to launch next-generation satellite hardware into space, as well as being responsible for the operation and management of the resulting networks.
Operators Hold the Key Billing Relationship
The research predicts the first commercial launch of a 5G satellite network will occur in 2024, with over 110 million 3GPP‑compliant 5G satellite connections in operation by 2030. To capitalize on this growth, the research urges operators to prioritize immediate partnerships with SNOs that can launch GSO (Geostationary Orbit) satellites. These satellites follow the rotation of the earth to always be located above the country that the operator serves; providing consistent connectivity.
Additionally, operators must leverage their pre-existing billing relationship with mobile subscribers and enterprises as a platform to grow 5G satellite connectivity revenue over the next seven years. The report anticipates this existing billing relationship will enable operators to rapidly drive the adoption of satellite connectivity by integrating satellite services into existing terrestrial networks.
Some of the biggest satellite network operators in the world are:
- Iridium Communications is a global satellite communications company that provides voice and data services to businesses and consumers around the world. Iridium has a constellation of 66 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) that provide coverage to virtually every point on the globe.
- Inmarsat is a British multinational satellite communications company that provides voice and data services to businesses and consumers around the world. Inmarsat has a constellation of 14 satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO) that provide coverage to the majority of the world’s landmass.
- SES is a Luxembourg-based satellite operator that provides broadcasting, telecommunications, and data services to businesses and consumers around the world. SES has a constellation of 70 satellites in GEO and LEO that provide coverage to virtually every point on the globe.
- Eutelsat is a French multinational satellite operator that provides broadcasting, telecommunications, and data services to businesses and consumers around the world. Eutelsat has a constellation of 37 satellites in GEO that provide coverage to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
- Telesat is a Canadian multinational satellite operator that provides broadcasting, telecommunications, and data services to businesses and consumers around the world. Telesat has a constellation of 12 satellites in GEO that provide coverage to North America, South America, and the Caribbean.
These are just a few of the many satellite network operators in the world. Satellite network operators provide a vital service to businesses and consumers around the world, and they are essential for the global economy.
Preparation for 6G Networks
However, the research predicts operators will increasingly rely on SNOs for service provision as 6G development accelerates. Research author Sam Barker commented: “Operators must not only think of 5G satellite services when choosing an SNO partner but also the forward plan for 6G networks, including coverage and throughput capabilities.”