Satellite backhaul and direct-to-device financial viability

19 April 2024 | Research

Luke Wyles | Lluc Palerm

Strategy report | PPTX and PDF (6 slides); Excel | Satellite Strategies for Telcos

"Technological advancements and reduced costs are making satellite an increasingly viable way for mobile network operators to reach new rural customers. "


Satellite has become an increasingly useful way for telecoms operators to extend their mobile networks to rural populations. Satellite will play a major role in addressing the existing coverage gap in mobile networks and will enable telecoms operators to connect users in locations where terrestrial backhaul is unavailable.

This report and associated data annex provide:

  • an analysis of the cost to deploy satellite backhaul in comparison to terrestrial microwave links with respect to traffic and distance to the backbone
  • an assessment of the future cost-effectiveness of satellite backhaul in light of declining capacity prices
  • an overview of the case for direct-to-device technology in those scenarios where it would be cheaper to deploy than cellular backhaul
  • assumptions and results of the general financial model for satellite backhaul, microwave backhaul and direct-to-device viability.


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Lluc Palerm

Research Director, expert in space and satellite