News Analysis

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The Price of 'Free-to-Air' Satellite TV

by Bruce Elbert, President Application Technology Strategy, Inc.

with Michelle Elbert

Satellite TV is the biggest money maker for the overall satellite industry, creating investment, subscriber base and wealth. It rests on the solid revenue footing from a food chain that ranges from the end user paying for subscriptions to networks that collect from advertisers and affiliates like TV stations and cable systems. However, we are witnessing a new business model that provides a free service to end users who only need to buy reception equipment consisting of a dish with a digital set-top-box. This is not unlike C-band backyard dishes of the US from the early 1980s, before HBO began to scramble their signal.

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Of Exabytes, Petabytes and Terabytes: What the Millennial Generation Means for Satellite Service Providers

by Elisabeth Tweedie

Not too long ago when someone got on the internet the chances were it was to do email or to search for information. In other words communication was mainly one to one and users were primarily consumers of information. With a few exceptions these were not time sensitive pursuits and were heavily biased towards downstream communications. Not any more. Many users have become participants creating, sharing and commenting on content. This will come as no surprise to anyone with children in their teens or twenties, as this change in usage is being driven by them – the Millennial Generation. Accounting for 48% of the world population makes them numerically the most significant generation so whatever they do has an impact.

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Challenges Facing the Teleport Sector

by Virgil Labrador, Editor-in-Chief

Los Angeles. Calif., February 2, 2010--The teleport business is a US$ 15 billion-a-year segment of the global satellite industry or roughly 15 percent of the industry revenues, according to the World Teleport Association (WTA). But no other segment of the industry has undergone so many changes as the teleport business in recent years . While the basic function of teleports remains to provide connectivity between the ground and the space segment, teleports have been providing many ancillary services that are constantly changing due to market demands and customer requirements.

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Reaching Out to the "Other 3 Billion"

by B.H. Schneiderman

Editor, Latin America

In these challenging economic times, it’s encouraging to know that there are still visionary companies that have ambitious plans aimed not at the most saturated, advanced countries but in the underserved developing countries. Denver, CO-based O3b Networks (registered in St. John, Jersey, Channel Islands) headed by Greg Wyler is one such company. Unlike other companies before that were high on ideals and low in practicality, O3b Networks, which stands for the "Other 3 billion," seems to know have a sound business plan to back up their lofty goals.

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Broadcast, Cable and Satellite Eurasia 2008 Highlight Opportunities in Eurasian Market

If you think you’ve explored every possible market for  satellite services and products, think again. One of the industry’s best kept secrets is a major trade show that attracts almost three times the number of attendees as the annual Satellite show in Washington, D.C. The Broadcast, Cable and Satellite Eurasia Expo and Conference held annually in Novermber in Istanbul, Turkey attracted 14,000 attendees in 2007 and 511 exhibiting companies from 44 countries. The exhibition and conference’s main draw is the emerging market of over 500 million people in the Eurasian region where Turkey is a major center.


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European Satellite Broadband Providers Take Heart! And Heed a Warning as Well...

by NSR

More than three years ago, NSR first stated in its Broadband Satellite Markets studies that government efforts to require universal access to broadband services would be a boon to the European market for broadband satellite Internet access services. Such initiatives never come about as quickly as service providers would like, but it now appears that Europe is truly setting itself upon this path.

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The Eurasian Satellite Market: Poised for Growth

by Virgil Labrador, Editor-in-Chief

With the global financial downturn, satellite companies are always looking for new and emerging markets to sell their products and services.  But with the increasingly global nature of the world’s economies, there are fewer markets left to explore.

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Why Do FSS Operators Borrow So Much Money?

by Bruce Elbert

President, Application Technology Strategy, Inc.

The Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) satellite operator business is the most established of the satellite industry, with leaders like Intelsat and SES representing many billions of dollars of investment and revenue. In the past, these companies and their predecessors like Hughes Communications Galaxy and RCA American Communications exclusively relied on investor risk capital and internally ground funds. What has changed to make these companies behave more like debt-leveraged industries like wireless/cellular telephone and airlines?

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Broadband at Sea – New Opportunities for Maritime VSAT

by Alan Gottlieb

Inmarsat’s new, Fleet Broadband services is facing never anticipated competition.  Its huge investment in its i4 satellite system and its revenue stream are being challenged by the proliferation of Ku Band deep ocean coverage and new hybrid VSAT/L Band solutions as well as by Iridium’s new OpenPort service. For those merchant shipping users that demand high capacity broadband, typically large fleet owners, rising demand for fixed priced broadband is making Inmarsat’s “pay-by-the-byte” services unaffordable at high usage levels and price-challenged at low usage levels. OpenPortsm offers volume based 128 Kbs service will be available at a cost significantly lower than Inmarsat.

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