Key takeaways from SIA’s 2017 State of the Satellite Industry Report

Image courtesy of the Satellite Industry Association.

The Satellite Industry Association, a U.S.-based trade association for the satellite industry, has released its 2017 State of the Satellite Industry Report.

Based on studies by consulting firm Bryce Space and Technology, the report analyzes the performance of the global satellite industry for the year 2016, comparing it with the previous year.

According to the report, the total satellite industry revenue for 2016 was US$260.5 billion, growing by 2% from the previous year, although at a slower pace. The satellite industry revenue accounted for 77% of the total space economy, which was valued at US$339.1 billion. Of this, the U.S. market share was 44%, with the rest of the world making up the other 56%.

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Here are a few interesting takeaways from the report.

  1. Only the ground equipment and launch industries experienced an increase in revenue.

Although satellite services still remained the industry’s largest segment, only the ground equipment and launch industries grew in terms of revenue. Satellite services stayed flat, while satellite manufacturing decreased by a significant 13%.


  1. GNSS formed the most significant part of ground equipment revenues

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) equipment made up the bulk of ground equipment revenues, comprising US$84.5 billion of the total US$113.4 billion, and was also the sector that experienced the highest growth, at 8%.


  1. Commercial launch orders decreased significantly, with the US taking the greatest hit

In 2016, only 14 commercial satellite launch orders were placed, as compared to 33 orders in 2015. Of the 14, only 4 were won by U.S. companies, down significantly from 15 orders in 2015. Most orders went to European commercial launchers, mainly, Arianespace.


  1. Military surveillance satellites accounted for 44% of satellite manufacturing revenues

Military surveillance satellite revenues showed an increase from 36% in 2015. Meanwhile, commercial communications satellites dropped from 42% to 22%. 64% of the total satellite revenues came from the U.S., with government contracts accounting for 74% of the U.S. revenues.


  1. CubeSats formed a significant proportion of satellites launch, but contributed very little to revenue

Out of the 126 satellites launched in 2016, 46 were CubeSats, representing 37% of total launches. Most of these were commercial earth observation satellites. In spite of their numbers, however, they accounted for less than 1% of the total revenue.


  1. Earth Observation (EO) services were increasingly significant in the satellite services industry

Although the overall satellite services industry revenue remained flat, the EO services sector grew by 11% from US$0.7 billion to US$0.8 billion. The report attributes this to the growth of established remote sensing companies, and the emergence of new competitors and new partnerships. Another significant growth area for the satellite services industry was satellite radio, showing a 10% increase in revenues, mainly due to U.S. customers. However, consumer services still remained by far the largest segment of the satellite services industry, accounting for US$104.7 billion of the total US$127.7 billion.


Read the full report here.


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