Satellite networks are able to connect and manage IoT devices in remote and challenging environments where traditional connectivity options might be limited or unavailable. This technology enables various applications, such as asset tracking, environmental monitoring, agriculture, maritime tracking, and more.
We know from TecFutures surveys that enterprises are looking for a blended set of licensed and non-licensed connectivity technologies to meet their complex and varied needs. In late 2022, we asked CSPs to rate these technologies for importance on a scale of 1 to 10. Satellite IoT connectivity gained a rating of 8.2/10 for its importance in the next 12 to 24 months, only a small way behind 5G and ahead of other 4G technologies and clearly on a growth trajectory.
So where is this demand coming from?
Demand for satellite IoT connectivity is fairly consistent, whatever the geographic focus of the MNO / MVNO. This is interesting as it shows that satellite is not just in demand by MNO / MVNOs with large multi-country markets but is relevant to those players operating in single countries as well.
It is also notable that in those CSPs with a global focus, satellite is competing much more closely with other leading connectivity technologies. By contrast in single country CSPs, satellite, while in demand, is lagging behind the other leading technologies.
With advances in satellite technology and the launch of more satellites the costs associated with satellite IoT are expected to decrease over time making it an easier addition to the CSP portfolio. This could lead to broader adoption and more cost-effective solutions for key verticals.
Cost and availability will also open up hybrid solutions that are ‘value-centric’ rather than ‘technology-centric’ and we may start to see the lines between these technologies might blur. This has implications for CSP market messaging, moving away from being feature led to a position that communicates how solutions deliver business advantage.