2019 Preview: How Satellites will Reshape Data Connectivity in The Year Ahead
Next-generation satellite services are set to transform data connectivity as we know it, opening up new markets and bringing the opportunities of the digital era to unconnected – and under-connected – industries and end-user populations around the world.
And this shift is already underway. In 2018, we continued to advance our global reach and cloud-scale data networking capabilities with the launch of four additional O3b MEO satellites, new partnerships to develop application-specific antennas, and an exciting partnership with IBM Cloud – to name just a few milestones. And we continued our leadership in global network standards bodies and industry organizations to continue our drive to make satellite a seamless part of the global networking ecosystem.
As a result of the progress we’ve made to date, SES Networks today delivers satellite-enabled connectivity with fiber-like performance to aviation, maritime, government and service providers and cloud customers around the world.
In the year ahead, we expect to see satellite become further entrenched as a standard connectivity option for customers, taking its rightful place alongside fiber and microwave technologies. As satellite connectivity moves into the mainstream, we will also begin to see more advanced services, capabilities and use cases emerge, and here are three that we expect to see take shape beginning in 2019:
- Cloud connectivity and IoT – A recent IDC report estimates worldwide technology spending on IoT will reach $1.2 trillion by 2022. Satellite-enabled cloud connectivity will allow organizations in remote or hard-to-reach locations to monitor the health of their operations using IoT. This will open up the IoT opportunity for governments and entire vertical industries in areas where connectivity has traditionally been non-existent or poor – for example, industrial IoT services on oil rigs, mining sites and energy farms, to name a few – allowing them to send large amounts of data to the cloud for real-time processing and analytics. This kind of ubiquitous low-latency satellite connectivity will also present significant opportunities for cloud providers to tap into a wide range of market segments and organizations in developing and remote geographies looking to utilize IoT.
- SD-WAN to fuel true multi-access connectivity – In 2018, we saw telecom service providers reap the benefits of global hybrid connectivity as they continue to seek cost-efficient ways to drive new revenue streams. This approach combines our MEO and GEO satellite constellations with providers’ existing terrestrial connectivity services, allowing our customers to deliver different levels of service availability and performance, based on specific application requirements – similar to application-aware routing. In 2019, we will begin to see SD-WAN capabilities emerge to ensure common services and flexible application- and performance-aware routing across this mix of multi-access services.
- Beyond connectivity: elevating the customer experience – At SES Networks, our fully managed intelligent connectivity approach means that we monitor, identify and resolve end-to-end network delivery challenges to ensure optimal QoE for our customers’ users. In the year ahead, we expect to see customers move further along on the satellite connectivity adoption curve – taking a step beyond basic connectivity to a focus on customized services that elevate their customers’ experience, and we are already seeing the beginning stages of this evolution today. For example, consumer electronics device manufacturers are looking to tailor connectivity services with an emphasis on delivering “the right content.” Many commercial aviation providers, as well as international cruise line operators, have already conquered basic satellite connectivity in the sky and at sea and are now considering how to optimize their operations and services with customized applications and a premium, differentiated experience. In contrast, government agencies are looking at how to use their service to evolve enterprise tools and applications, while still other market segments are just arriving at the basic connectivity stage. As these deployments continue to mature, we will begin to see this focus on the customer experience incorporated into all stages of the satellite connectivity adoption curve.
SES Networks is disrupting the traditional role of satellite. And in 2019, we’ll continue to lead the charge to attain digital equality, open new markets and enable opportunities through innovative and affordable satellite-enabled managed data services. And as we strive to become the premier global managed data services provider, SES Networks Signature Solutions will help our customers elevate the service experience and benefit end users all over the world. I can’t wait to see what our customers achieve with these capabilities as we enter a new era of truly ubiquitous high-performance data services.