As I sit here at WorldnSatellite Business Week (WSBW) in Paris, the event has thrown up a number of talking points. From Eutelsat’s surprise exit from the C-Band Alliance (CBA), to issues over how satellite will play in a 5G powered eco-system moving forward. At the launch panel, serving the up and coming Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations was a key for virtually all players. The industry is at the precipice of change. Many believe few LEO constellations will survive. LeoSat revealed here that it now needs to do more work on its Series A financing. While it is still optimistic, it is clear there is hard work ahead.
Many companies have talked about a “challenging” environment with oversupply of capacity and margins getting squeezed. While the industry generally has an optimistic mindset, it is clear that there is a nervousness around the industry right now.
Speaking of 5G, we are getting ready for DC5G, and in this issue, Jeff Hill, chairman of DC5G talks about the 5G market in the U.S. and what will happen next. While there is a lot of talk about 5G, the 4G market is still pretty nascent. Shaun Waterman talks about this market and the 4G market for satellite. In another feature, we look at the super yacht market, and the opportunities for satellite. While there is a lot of talk about in the cruise market, the yachting market, with its high paying customers, represents a great market for satellite to target.
The early discussions in Paris indicate that the industry may not have the super-optimism that it had in the past. While it is a period of huge opportunity, there are risks. The spectre of the late 1990s can definitely be felt. But, fingers crossed, there will be more successes than failure. VS