In its annual publication focussed on the current and historic performance of Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) companies, Euroconsult has reported an average 4% year-over-year decline in revenue for these companies.
The $10.8bn-market has seen increased competition and strong impact from Covid-19. Most publicly listed operators reporting on a quarterly basis have reported lower revenues for Q3 2020 vs. Q3 2019.
Operators are adapting to remain relevant in the long term and to weather the storm in 2020-2021, with the ongoing pandemic impacting the global industry.
“Operators with exposure to the mobility market have suffered the most from the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Dimitri Buchs, Senior Consultant at Euroconsult, and author of the report. “However, revenue declines appear to be decreasing as the year progresses, maybe a sign of what to expect in 2021.”
In 2019, the top five FSS operators represented 64% of the industry revenues and 20 operators had revenue of more than $100m. Demand for satellite capacity increased by 18% to reach 1,425 Gbps. Eight new FSS operators emerged between 2017 and 2020 and six more are expected to enter the market between 2021 to the mid-2020s.
The research shows that nearly half of the FSS operators increased the number of regular transponders leased throughout 2019 and service revenue has also grown.
The industry’s downward trend is driven by growing High Throughput Satellite (HTS) competition, which has led to significantly lower capacity pricing in recent years. Video demand began to decrease in 2019, even before the pandemic and is set to continue in 2020, which also impacts FSS operators.
The overall situation is pushing a growing number of FSS operators to look for other sources of revenues. Notably, operators are turning to vertical integration to differentiate. This also enables them to offer better value to end-users and blending managed services into their wholesale strategies empowers them to better manage bandwidth usage.
The pandemic has not slowed this trend, as highlighted by the recent acquisitions of Bigblu Broadband by Eutelsat (July 2020) and Gogo by Intelsat (September 2020), and it is expected to continue in coming years.
The report provides a detailed analysis of 50 active FSS operators in a new interactive digital format that provides easy access to comparative data with customizable data sets, data filters, and new data search and visualisation tools.
In the online benchmark section of the report, searchable indicators, which can be sorted by company, region, and in some cases by capacity type, include regular supply, HTS supply, number of satellites in orbit, average fleet age, satellites to be launched, fill rates, capacity usage (both regular and HTS), video TV channels, number of DTH platforms, revenues by type of capacity, and revenues per transponder and per megabits per second.