The satcom industry has been on an innovative streak for a few years with promises that it now has to deliver. Cheap, flat antennas from any of the three dozen companies that have offered to churn them out by the wagon load – please bring the wagons over.
Revolutionary satellites that can deliver 100 times more at a fraction of the price – we’re ready for them. All those start-ups with hints of great things to come in 2019 – please make your way into the light and show the world that it’s not all PR and vapourware.
All this energy makes satellite communications so much more exciting than the shoelace industry, and the rest of the telecom industry isn’t shy about promising the moon either. But a bit of scepticism about the continued relevance of satellites has crept in, and the mood among investors and regulators isn’t entirely favourable.
One of the biggest challenges of our time is feeding 10 billion people and keeping the lights on amid runaway climate change and a collapsing biosphere. Can this industry play its part? I think it can, at more than one level – and it better, because that, not whether plasma screens will go from 4K to 8K, is what a growing part of the population worries about right now. For an industry that operates on a truly global level and plans everything 15 years ahead, that should be in its field of view.
Stéphane Chenard is Senior Analyst at Euroconsult and will be at the GVF Summit at CABSAT to moderate one of the panels.