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Growth continues but slows as challenges emerge for satellite communications sector, says new Euroconsult report

The satellite communications market has reached new revenue highs, but the good news is set against a backdrop of slowing growth rates and a more challenging business environment over the next few years, according to a new report for Euroconsult.

The report, “Satellite Communications & Broadcasting Markets Survey, Forecasts to 2020,” reveals the fixed satellite sector grew both in terms of transponder demand (up 4.4 percent) and revenue, which reached $10.8 billion in 2010.

However, despite identifying a slowdown and tougher times ahead, Euroconsult maintains an overall positive outlook for the future of the satellite sector with television broadcasting and emerging markets continuing to drive growth, and high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity systems contributing to growth as well.

“While we have seen slowing growth rates in leased capacity, FSS operators’ revenue growth has continued to outperform the global economy, and operating margins remain high for most operators. In the near term, the difficult economic environment could weigh on the market,” said Pacôme Revillon, CEO at Euroconsult. “Still, connectivity needs and the growth of digital TV in emerging regions, combined with the launch of new-generation high throughput satellite systems, should continue to drive growth. The value of satellite capacity leasing should consequently grow at 7 percent over the next 10 years.”

Global demand for capacity usage slowed for the second year in a row, growing at a rate of only 4.5 percent last year. While growth remained strong in several emerging regions, such as Latin America and parts of Asia, poor performance in North America and Western Europe, and slower growth in Africa, dragged down overall industry performance. This slowdown was nevertheless somewhat expected as it followed a period of high growth in the sector, and the progressive maturing of certain segments, according to the report.