How software-defined satellites can help non-GEO constellation operators to succeed

08 January 2024 | Research

Dallas Kasaboski

Article | PDF (4 pages) | Satellite Infrastructure


"Manufacturers need to focus on cost and order-to-launch timelines at scale, offering at least steerable beams, to remain competitive in the non-GEO constellations market."

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The satellite communications industry is racing to become mainstream, improve its ability to integrate with the terrestrial telecoms industry and serve expanding global markets. This race has been driven by improvements in satellite manufacturing, as well as ambitious campaigns by high-profile companies to develop large fleets of thousands of satellites, known as satellite constellations or mega-constellations. SpaceX’s Starlink surpassed 5000 active satellites in October 2023, OneWeb has deployed over 600 satellites, and Amazon’s Kuiper plans to launch 3000 for its constellation.

According to NSR's latest forecasts, more than 23 000 satellites are expected to be ordered in the next decade, representing USD23 billion in cumulative revenue. This article assesses how satellite manufacturers can address this opportunity and stay ahead.