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16 Satellite Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

The global satellite industry experiences surges in interest and revenue, followed by declines where minimal growth occurs, about once every three years. In 2013, the industry grew by about 10%. The 2016 figures (which are the most current at this time of writing) show that the industry grew by just 2%. Revenues earned in the United States contribute to 44% of the overall industry.

The satellite industry is also one of the largest influencers in the overall global space economy, which totals over $339 billion in revenues each year. The core of the space industrial base lies in satellite manufacturing and the launch industry, however, and these two segments make up less than 10% of total earnings.

Since 2012, the number of satellites in orbit around the planet has increased by 53%, with almost 144 new launches each year. Most of the new satellites found in space are either small or very small ones that are in a low-Earth orbit. 59 countries currently operate at least one satellite, while the U.S. and its entities control almost 600 of them.

Here are the additional satellite industry statistics that you will want to know about today.

Essential Satellite Industry Statistics

#1. Global revenues for the satellite industry reached a total of $260.5 billion in value, reflecting a growth of 2% in this category for 2016. Satellite services led the way with $127.7 billion in earnings, followed by $113.4 billion for ground equipment. Manufacturing services contributed $13.9 billion, while the launch industry generated $5.5 billion. (SIA)

#2. Consumer satellite services make up the bulk of the satellite industry revenues, responsible for $104.7 billion of the total services segment. Fixed services contribute another $17.4 billion, while mobile services generate $3.6 billion, and Earth observation services offer $2 billion to the industry. (SIA)

#3. Satellite manufacturing was down 13% for 2016, with $8.9 billion in revenues coming from U.S.-based firms. (SIA)

#4. From 2007-2016, industry revenues grew globally to more than double its value, beginning at $122 billion, and then ending at $261 billion. (SIA)

#5. As of December 31, 2015, there were 1,381 operational satellites in orbit around the planet. 37% of them were for commercial communications. Civil and military communications are responsible for another 14%, while Earth observation sciences contribute another 14% to this total. Other top satellite functions are for research and development (12%), military surveillance (8%), and navigation (7%). (Space News Magazine)

#6. Consumer services provide the bulk of the revenues earned by the satellite industry, with over $104 billion coming from either satellite television, radio, or broadband. $97.8 billion of this segment came from DBS/DTH for satellite TV in 2015. (Space News Magazine)

#7. Fixed uses of satellite services are responsible for 77% of the communications revenue earned by the industry, whereas mobile applications represent less than 3% of earnings each year. (Forbes)

#8. 60% of the population on our planet does not have access to any form of high-speed internet, with another 32% unable to access some type of LTE coverage. That means about 1.6 billion people are unable to access a mobile network – including some individuals who live in an industrialized nation. (Forbes)

#9. Earth observation services showed the strongest growth in revenues for 2016, offering an 11% boost to their segment of the industry. (SIA)

#10. There were 126 satellites launched in 2016, which was a significant drop from the 202 taken to space the year before. There were 46 CubeSats launched from that total, with most intended for commercial Earth observation. (SIA)

#11. 74% of the revenues earned by the manufacturing sector for the industry came from government contracts. If the CubeSats are excluded from the figures, firms in the U.S. built 27% of the satellites launched in 2016 while earning 63% of the revenues within this segment of the industry. (SIA)

#12. There were 17 commercial GEO satellites on order that carried over to the 2017 manufacturing year, with 10 of those won by U.S.-based manufacturers. (SIA)

#13. Radar and satellite operations generated $11 billion in revenues in 2018, reflecting an increase of 10.7% for the year. The number of businesses has grown by 12.3% during that time, as have the total employment opportunities. About 2,000 firms are currently active in this segment of the industry. (IBIS World)

#14. The satellite broadband and enterprise VSAT is expected to earn cumulative revenues of $159 billion through 2029, with 13.4 % annual growth expected in the installed base of consumer sites on its own. Land Mobile Satcom expects to generate at least $18 billion over two million sites by 2027. (Satellite Markets and Research)

#15. The global satellite transponder market is expected to continue its pattern of growth, earning a 5% CAGR through at least the year 2022. (Satellite Markets and Research)

#16. The cloud video segment powered through the satellite industry is expected to surpass 25% of the enterprise video solutions market by the year 2023 to earn a total of $49 billion. (Satellite Markets and Research)

Satellite Industry Trends and Analysis

Technological advances are creating a “rebirth” of sorts for the satellite industry. Broadband internet access through these services will change how online access occurs throughout the world. Very few industries can change who they are after 60 years of providing services, yet through 2025, the way we communicate because of what occurs will shift data access for all of us.

We are at a place in our culture where no one will need to worry about connectivity in the near future. It won’t matter where we are, what we need, or if there are financial opportunities that exist. If someone wants to participate in this industry in some way, then they will have the access necessary to create success.

It could be argued that the next few years for the satellite industry will be just as revolutionary as the moment the printing press was first invented. These changes could occur in as little as 12 months for some industry segments. That’s why it is an exciting time to be part of this industry in some way. This technology is about to change the world.

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