Satellite Evolution Sparks a Service Revolution

The changing DNA of satellites prompts a landslide of new products and services.

Written on 01 Jun 2016


Technology changes lives. That statement, as banal as it sounds, implies two major elements of fundamental importance. The first is the observation that technological shifts create markets, and not the other way round. The second is that faster technological evolution sparks a revolution in the services and products that are available. Markets, and the individual consumers that define them, do not presage and pronounce demands, technological breakthroughs do. Unforeseen and unforeseeable products are created by translating new technology into applications that rapidly transform entire industries, sectors, behaviors and business models. Technologies ferment the markets. And this is exactly what is happening with satellite technology today.

The old and new school of thinking 

For a long time the satellite business was framed by the stable and reliable coordinates of orbital positions, satellite fleets, and their spectrum and capacity. All of this was viewed, of course, in the perspective of rate cards and price points. Admittedly, in this old school of thought the orbiting real estate of satellite operators delivered fantastic results, transmitting thousands of TV programs reliably and in the highest quality to millions of households and billions of people. In turn this created mass audience solutions downstream, as well as instant and remote connectivity over continents and deserted areas. Yet the optics were always focused on a small slice of a larger sector. 

The new school of thinking has overthrown that approach. Now technology is the launching pad for new products and markets, as new capabilities in the sky are immediately applied on the ground in tailor made ways for each market. As satellites change their DNA rapidly to become fluid and flexible, they grow their already key role in the connected and rapidly evolving world. The new approach positions satellite to deliver on the demands for the new age of connectivity. High performance satellite constellations are being put in place with a strategic mix of spectrum types, and wide and spot beams. Reusable and re-deployable beams boost capacity and bandwidth efficiencies. Roaming capabilities enable seamless maritime and aeronautical connectivity experiences. And the terabit per second satellite is on the horizon, pushing the boundaries of global connectivity to infinity. 

SES is perfectly positioned to drive this technological revolution, and knows that it is not about one big idea or one big satellite. Technologies such as High Throughput and terabits are not the exclusive elements of the winning formula, but are part of the tools SES will use to chart a new course beyond frontiers, and not just for itself, but for the entire industry. By breaking with ideology, and reconsidering the entire business with a precise, market-focused, and insightful view, SES will take the most advantage of the fundamental changes underway. The optimal formula will be a precise balance between a differentiated focus on four market verticals and a global scalability of all solutions across the globe. The sheer size of the SES operations and fleet, the importance of its spacecraft investment, and the high pace of its satellite launch manifest, will allow SES to develop solutions with a worldwide scale and deploy these with an accelerated approach in all four verticals that each have different maturity levels. The four verticals SES focuses its business on are: Video, Enterprise, Mobility and Government.


Written on 01 Jun 2016

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Satellite Evolution Sparks a Service Revolution

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