Juniper Research forecast satellite-based non-terrestrial networks (NTNs) will generate up to $17 billion in revenue for mobile operators, and predicted the first commercial launch of a 5G satellite network will occur in 2024 ahead of more than 110 million 3GPP-compliant 5G connections in operation by 2030.
In order to reap the benefit of NTNs, the research company stated operators needed to prioritise immediate partnerships with satellite network operators (SNOs), such as e SES, Intelsat, Eutesalat and Inmarsat, that are capable of launching GSO (Geostationary Orbit) satellites.
Sam Barker, VP of telecoms research for Juniper Research, stated operators needed to not only think about 5G satellite services when picking SNO partners, “but also the forward plan for 6G networks, including coverage and throughput capabilities”.
Juniper Research stated operators need to tap into their pre-existing billing relationships with mobile subscribers and enterprise users to grow satellite connectivity revenue over the next seven years.
Those existing relationships would enable operators to drive the adoption of satellite connectivity by integrating satellite services into their terrestrial networks.
The research further stated operators would charge users monthly fees for their satellite connectivity the same way consumers pay for terrestrial services, but noted uptake would be limited.
Juniper Research stated operators would be better served to focus their monetisation efforts on IoT and broadband connections.
Initial IoT end users will utilise satellite connectivity for the high throughput rates needed for data-intensive services, but the research company stated data limitations could discourage the adoption of satellite services.