During this year’s 2023 industry tradeshow season in the Asia Pacific region, satellite operators were energized by recent industry changes, like the rise of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations. At four separate events, including AVIA’s Satellite Industry Forum and Asia Tech X Singapore, regional satellite operators shared well-defined strategies for how they plan to leverage core strengths and grow and diversify their businesses by tapping into exciting opportunities that have opened up due to the pace of innovation in the satellite industry.
In particular, there was consensus on the value of offering multi-orbit transport options to their customers. At the Satellite Industry Forum, where I served as a panelist, everyone agreed that a customer would likely choose a combination of both non-geosynchronous orbit (NGSO)––either LEO or Middle Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites––and geosynchronous orbit (GEO) transports to get the best of both worlds––capacity, latency, reliability and availability. Doing so makes the most sense when one or more conditions are met, including:
- Coverage – If the customer network has sites or mobility coverage demands in areas where setting up a network presence for just a few customers does not make sense.
- Capacity – If there is insufficient GEO or LEO capacity available to support the customer network, and the satellite operator wants to augment existing coverage with more capacity.
- Competition – If the customer’s rollout requirements can be met by a more commercially attractive network.
- Diverse Paths – If higher reliability and availability will drive customers to consider the option of choosing a multi-orbit network.
Within these different scenarios, a customer may choose to utilize NGSO and GEO transports to connect a single site, or to pick and choose orbits for different sites based on their business requirements. Combining services from various orbits and transports and offering them as a packaged service, as Hughes has done with our HughesNet Fusion® service, will be another important strategic decision for operators in the APAC region as they formulate their visions for the future.