Direct-to-satellite market to hit $9 billion by 2030

05 May 2023

New research from Kaleido Intelligence finds that direct-to-satellite connectivity, where regular smartphones and IoT devices leverage satellite communications networks, will see revenues for connectivity services reach over US$9 billion annually in 2030.

Satcom services promise to enable the ‘everything, everywhere’ vision for cellular connectivity, serving as a failover for terrestrial coverage ‘not spots.’

Kaleido anticipates significant potential for IoT initiatives, forecasting more than 460 million connections by 2030.

Chipset makers are supporting this new architecture while the 3GPP has started the path towards integrated cellular and satellite communications networks, following the finalisation of the NTN (Non-Terrestrial Networks) standard as part of 5G Release 17. Standardisation and hardware ecosystem support means that the market is now ripe for growth.

“Using existing GEO-based capacity looks the most sustainable way forward for LPWAN IoT connectivity, but few providers have opted for this path,” said Steffen Sorrell, chief of research at Kaleido. “Meanwhile, the relatively low data rates offered by NTN-NR will ultimately mean that the revenue opportunity will remain constrained until at least 2030. Further industry consolidation is inevitable as the market positions itself.”

While significant barriers to widespread rollout remain – including the high cost of satellite production, launch, and operations, and the corresponding impact on service pricing, as well as the ongoing divisions in spectrum use between nations having a limiting effect on capacity – direct-to-satellite is proving promising for markets across the world, particularly those with limited cellular coverage.

The delivery of truly global communications, including in remote and rural regions, could be game changing for a wide range of industries.