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- Luckier than Most Other Industries, Satellite Antenna Demand Dips by a Slight -2.6% as COVID-19 Doles Out a Mixed Bag of Opportunities & Challenges
- The global market for Satellite Antenna is expected to plummet by -2.6% in the year 2020 and thereafter recover and grow to reach US$3.1 billion by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 5.2% over the analysis period 2020 through 2027. Ten months into the pandemic, the scale of economic devastation caused is now becoming clear i.e. US$7 trillion loss in global GDP; historic highs in unemployment; drop in manufacturing PMI to 38.4 points; industrial output declines at double digits in 1H of 2020; widening fiscal deficits of governments worldwide with the U.S leading with a US$3.1 trillion breach for the year 2020; a crumbling global health system slammed by the pandemic demanding significant investments, billions of dollars spent on COVID-19 drug and vaccine research & development with the U.S alone spending US$5.1 billion on COVID research; and massive CAPEX cuts in virtually every industry barring healthcare and few digital technology platforms. The scenario brings with it an especially uncomfortable outlook for the satellite industry and its value chain. Supply chain disruptions which have slammed many other industries will also impact satellite and satellite component manufacturing. Space equipment manufacturing companies such as SpaceX and Virgin Orbit, among others have already repurposed their manufacturing facilities to meet manufacture emergency medical equipment.
- SpaceX, for instance, is helping procure much needed ventilators for the medical community. Virgin Orbit, on the other hand, utilized its technology know-how to develop a mass-producible bridge ventilator prototype for COVID-19 patients. This means reduced focus and decline in production of satellite equipment. The imminent supply chain crunch impact satellite companies as increased pent-up demand for satellite services post COVID-19 will exert pressure on existing inventories to withstand increased service load and coverage longer than the disruptions in the supply chain. Telesat, a leading global satellite operator is already witnessing pressure on its infrastructure rising. Postponed and later start dates will mean delays in bringing capacity into use. The company already does not have replacement satellites and new satellites launch schedules for the next 12 months remain disrupted. A potential backlog of satellite orders and delivery will delay launch plans for service providers even in the year 2021. Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, for instance, suspended all planned launches. Equipment delivery is also being delayed due to travel and movement restrictions still in place as the second wave of infections sweep through several countries worldwide. Satellite manufacturers and launch companies are both being impacted. Satellite service providers with higher exposure to industrial, commercial markets and logistic service providers as client companies, are recording more severe shortage of cash and liquidity crunch and have announced program delays and CAPEX cuts. This is expected to upset the launch plans of satellite operators and send ripples of disruptions upstream to satellite manufacturers. Satellite operators in developing countries are expected to be hard hot and will witness their revenues shrink much faster than operators in developed markets where demand for satellite bandwidth remains fairly inelastic. Financial difficulties have also put plans for network build-outs for new services in great uncertainty. On the other hand, for companies like Telesat and HughesNet, a High-Speed Satellite Internet service provider where a large portion of clients depend on their services as a lifeline to ensure teleworking, home learning, remote collaboration with its customers, and online video conferences, the challenge is to keep up with increased service demand and load. And with manufacturers being unable to deliver on new orders due to labor and raw material disruptions, launch delays will impact the market now and in the year 2021.
- An area that has remained insulated thus far is satellite communications which interestingly has gained additional significance amid the pandemic as governments try to control the spread of the infections via patient tracking. Space technologies are helping in the battle against COVID-19 and are in fact innovating all through the pandemic promising the mellow the blow of the pandemic. Satellite communications, satellite navigation, earth observation and other allied technologies have come together to help governments and private agencies fight the pandemic and control the spread by managing people movement and monitoring of infection people in an environment made challenging by physical distancing. Satellite imagery and analytics are also being used to study and model infectious disease outbreaks which often tend to be place-based as they emerge and cluster in certain places and in certain contexts. Geospatial data enable developing dynamic statistical models that help characterize disease transmission, identify risk factors and forecasts pathogen prevalence. COVID-19 response has been given an efficiency boost with these technologies helping in optimized and timely mobilization of healthcare workers saving not just lives but also the swift spread of the disease. Several mobile apps have been developed since the outbreak of COVID-19 that utilize GPS satellite data and AI technologies to monitor the implementation of social distancing measures effectively. In China, satellites are being used to guide and monitor cargo transportation to large-scale disinfection sites in addition to monitoring infected patients and their adherence to social distancing norms.
Select Competitors (Total 78 Featured) -
- Airbus Defence and Space
- Cobham Limited
- Elite Antennas Ltd.
- General Dynamics Corporation
- Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd.
- Honeywell International Inc.
- Kymeta Corporation
- L3Harris Technologies, Inc.
- MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Corporation
- Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
- Norsat International Inc.
- Viasat, Inc.