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Broadband via Satellite

An alternative for the 30 million households in Europe and North Africa not covered by a terrestrial broadband solution in 2008
Satellite Broadband - Outlook for the residential market in Europe and North Africa

This report examines recent developments in the United States, Asia and Europe, analyses the issues involved in rolling out these services and assesses the opportunities tied to the deployment of fixed satellite access services in residential markets in Europe and North Africa.

Broadband via satellite back in the news

According to Maxime Baudry, the report’s Project Leader, ‘Two-way solutions have been developing for several years now, allowing users to do away with the need for a telephone connection. While traditionally using the Ku band, the Ka band was introduced in 2005 as an added alternative’. Despite certain technical restrictions, the introduction of the Ka band helps drive a “revival” of high-speed satellite access thanks to a much more appealing business model than the one tied to the introduction of the Ku band several years back. Overall, the current price per Mb for the Ka band is four to ten times less than for the Ku band, which has been made possible by a satellite capacity that has increased by a factor of 70 in a matter of years, for the same price. The price of the user terminals, which is also key to the success of high-speed Ka-band satellite access, has dropped by a factor of six in five years, going from 2,000 EUR in 2004 to 350 EUR at the end of 2008.

Main conclusions of this IDATE report

• IDATE estimates that there were still over 30 million households in Europe and North Africa that were not covered by a terrestrial broadband solution in 2008, or 16% less than in 2007. More than half of these households are located in North Africa.

• After having emerged in North America and Asia, satellite broadband in the Ka band was introduced in Europe in mid-2007 and has since proven a popular solution for several European telecom operators looking to cover the several thousand customers still cut off from the digital world.

The market expected to enjoy the highest rate of growth in the coming years is the Ka-band satellite market, especially thanks to wide-reaching government plans to reduce the digital divide.

• The revival of the satellite broadband market has been enabled by a massive drop in the price of terminals, combined with the introduction of the Ka band which has helped bring down the price of bandwidth considerably.

• In the battle with terrestrial technologies, and particularly wireless ones (3G and WiMAX), satellite technology needs to leverage its assets, the main one being immediate availability at a reasonable cost.

IDATE’s analysis includes four strategic scenarios based on four geographical zones defined according to key criteria that allow us to establish the most suitable positioning to adopt for marketing a satellite broadband service in each.



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