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Maritime satcoms to continue growth

Consulting firm Euroconsult has forecast that the number of satellite communications terminals in the global maritime market will nearly double over the next decade, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7 per cent over the 10-year period.

In the second edition of its 'Maritime Telecom Solutions by Satellite, Global Market Analysis & Forecasts' report the company says that, while MSS terminals are still expected to account for the majority of terminals deployed over the decade, VSAT service providers should gain significant market share in terms of revenue during the period.

"Onboard bandwidth requirements keep growing, driving the maritime market in a direction quite beneficial to satellite communications," said Wei Li, senior consultant at Euroconsult.

"Fully integrated IP applications providing internet access, audio and video streaming, and the integration of ships into corporate networks generate significant capacity demand at sea."

Euroconsult says that the number of terminals used for global maritime satellite communications grew at around 6 per cent in 2011, while revenues at the satellite operator level increased by over 7 per cent.

The total size of the market reached about 317,000 active terminals in 2011, generating more than $1.4 billion in revenues at the service provider level.

The report also suggests that the proliferation of new Ka-band services, such as Inmarsat's planned Global Xpress network, could expand the maritime market further. Euroconsult projects that by 2021 the VSAT market will account for the majority of satellite-based maritime communications revenues.

Overall, it is predicted that the maritime satcom market will grow at a healthy rate over the next decade, but not as rapidly as in recent years. The expected slowdown of revenue growth will mainly be due to decreasing airtime unit and equipment prices with the overall improvement of technology.

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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