Does anybody still believe in consolidation? For every HellasSat of Greece that is purchased by an Arabsat, there is a Turkmenistan or Congolese satellite popping up to expand the number of telecommunications satellite operators.
The sale of the Measat satellite system, once thought imminent, no longer seems on the table. SingTel is preparing the sale of its Optus fleet in Australia, but SingTel management has suggested that if the market won’t offer a good price, SingTel would be happy to keep Optus.
Companies listed here are providers of fixed satellite services, leasing their capacity on geostatoinary-orbiting satellites for video, voice and data traffic.
Mobile satellite services operators and companies devoted to consumer broadband service provision are not included, although the time is coming when these distinctions will lose their relevance. Also excluded are direct-broadcast satellite operators using their own spacecraft.
Operating commercial telecommunications satellites in 2012 remained a very good business to be in despite the struggle in the United States and Europe to emerge from a recession.
Operators with publicly traded stock of course must contend with short-term negative phenomena, and defend their capital spending more than they’d like. But the basic business of providing ever-more television with ever-sharper images provides an underlying core growth for the industry and does not appear ready to plateau.
For the biggest fleet operators, a more complicated long-term problem may be how to contend with national governments that, after a decade’s pause, now want their very own satellite. Whether these new entrants can sustain a long-term business is beside the point.
2013 Top FSS List