ABI Research: NTN-5G convergence could create $18 billion market by 2031

11 July 2023

ABI Research has predicted that the convergence of non-terrestrial networks (NTN) with the 5G sector could create a market worth $18 billion by 2031, with up to 200 million connections expected.

Victor Xu, satellite communications research analyst, highlighted increased traction from the device side as leaving the sector poised for the mainstream. He cited moves to provide satellite-capable mobile devices by “major consumer smartphone manufacturers and chipset makers” including “Apple, Qualcomm, Motorola, MediaTek, Huawei, and ZTE” as a marker of the market’s readiness.

ABI Research also highlighted a growing number of deals between satellite service providers and mobile operators. Xu noted the current batch of satellite-to-mobile services “will initially prioritise low data rate communications through IoT NTN.”

While services to date have mainly focused on specialised emergency services and messaging with low data rates, Xu predicted satellite networks will “eventually incorporate NR-NTN, a 5G-based, more advanced communication standard, in the next few years.” He added that the standard will “increase capacity and network capabilities, enabling more concurrent users and applications with higher data rates.”