Safety is a large driver of new and up­graded M2M ter­mi­nals in both Mar­itime and Aero­nau­ti­cal sec­tors

OffComm News - - CONTENTS -

M2M and IoT mo­bil­ity boost­ing satel­lite rev­enues, but fre­quency bands to re­main selec­tive for safety, says NSR.

The aero­nau­ti­cal and mar­itime mar­kets are key seg­ments for satel­lite tele­coms, but one op­por­tu­nity that is of­ten over­looked is nar­row­band M2M/ IoT. While in­di­vid­ual unit band­width re­quire­ments may be small, M2M/ IoT via satel­lite - on the high seas and at cruis­ing al­ti­tude - will see retail ser­vice rev­enues reach al­most a quar­ter of a bil­lion dol­lars by 2024.

North­ern Sky Re­search ( NSR) has an­a­lyzed and iden­ti­fied trends sep­a­rately for both mar­itime and aero­nau­ti­cal M2M de­mand. Data from its most re­cent re­port en­ti­tled: M2M and IoT via Satel­lite, 6th Edi­tion, iden­ti­fies that safety re­quire­ments, driven by both in­dus­try and govern­ment, are push­ing adop­tion rates of satel­lite- based M2M glob­ally.

In short, says Alan Crisp for NSR, the Mar­itime M2M mar­ket re­mains a much larger mar­ket over­all, with NSR ex­pect­ing over 560,000 units in- ser­vice by 2024, rep­re­sent­ing a strong 7.3% CAGR from 2014. By com­par­i­son, the Aero­nau­ti­cal M2M mar­ket is ex­pected to reach a more mod­est 48,700 in- ser­vice units on the back of a solid 5.4% CAGR.

While band­width growth is cur­rently in­creas­ing due to in- flight con­nec­tiv­ity and WiFi ser­vices on­board for pas­sen­gers, cur­rent safety ap­pli­ca­tions con­sis­tently re­main in nar­row­band, with mon­i­tor­ing, lo­ca­tion po­si­tion, data re­port­ing, and voice all re­quir­ing small amounts of data.

Safety bands

Al­though safety has al­ways been a high pri­or­ity for many, a num­ber of re­cent high pro­file in­ci­dents are mov­ing air­craft ( busi­ness jets, wide and nar­row body air­craft) and ships ( mer­chant, fish­ing, pas­sen­ger, off­shore) to im­ple­ment greater lev­els of satel­lite- based M2M for safety pur­poses. The ma­jor­ity ( 96%) and re­main­ing steady over the next decade are on L- band. While this is gen­er­ally due to low band­width re­quire­ments, there are a num­ber of other reg­u­la­tory fac­tors at play. Cock­pit com­mu­ni­ca­tions, for ex­am­ple, are ex­pected to re­main on L- band as other bands have not been cer­ti­fied for safety us­age world­wide. Nev­er­the­less, fur­ther reg­u­la­tions by na­tional safety au­thor­i­ties are ex­pected to drive more in­stalled units mov­ing for­ward.

Un­likely that safety bod­ies will ap­prove other fre­quency bands for safety any time soon

An­other rea­son for the con­tin­ued dom­i­nance of L- band is its proven track record, and it is un­likely that safety bod­ies will ap­prove other fre­quency bands for safety any time soon. Growth in the ocean re­gions, es­pe­cially the Pa­cific Ocean, re­mains strong, with in­creas­ing lev­els of flight traf­fic be­ing a strong growth driver. Be­yond this, Asia shows strong po­ten­tial due to the large num­ber of new nar­row­body air­craft or­ders com­ing from air­lines in the re­gion.

Mar­itime safety re­quire­ments are also ex­pected to ex­pand in their de­mands, es­pe­cially on large ves­sels with large crews, where lo­ca­tion re­port­ing is re­quired, and higher lev­els of au­to­ma­tion to re­duce staffing off­shore is a real cost- sav­ing propo­si­tion. How­ever, many smaller plea­sure ves­sels are choos­ing SPOT or In­Reach type devices, or al­ter­na­tively the Cospas- Sarsat pro­gram as a lower- cost op­tion.

How­ever, air­craft and ves­sels are not ex­pected to be up­graded to sup­port satel­lite based safety re­quire­ments in­stantly. Rather, this will be more of an or­ganic tran­si­tion over a pe­riod of years. In fact, to­day it is still not con­sid­ered manda­tory in the minds of many due to a per­cep­tion of neg­a­tive cost com­pared to per­ceived ben­e­fits.

While lo­ca­tion track­ing and big data ap­pli­ca­tions and op­ti­miza­tion are the main driv­ers for Mar­itime and Aero­nau­ti­cal, safety de­mands are in­creas­ing with reg­u­la­tions ex­pected to come into force in the next decade. This is to be the case in both de­vel­oped re­gions with ex­ist­ing safety in­fra­struc­ture, but also in de­vel­op­ing re­gions that are in gen­eral ‘ catch­ing up’ on safety. With tri­als al­ready un­der­way, higher fre­quency re­port­ing is ex­pected to be­come the norm sooner rather than later, with next gen­er­a­tion M2M and L- band net­works driv­ing strong rev­enue growth well into the fu­ture.

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