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Mobile satellite service market led by Globalstar and Iridium

Industry Sector



13 December 2012


Mike King

Type of News


The mobile satellite service (MSS) market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.1% through to 2015, and will grow to $10.2 billion in 2020, more than doubling today's volume.

The industry is set to be primarily driven by the increasing adoption in the maritime sector, along with the increasing use of mobile satellite services during emergency situations.

Currently, many merchant shipping vehicles are using mobile satellite services for crew communication. Hence, the merchant shipping industry is increasing massively year-on-year and is expected to boost growth rates within the mobile satellite service market.

Since the MSS market is set to offer more bandwidth than ever, it is expected to stretch most operators who need new targets to override the economic uncertainty. In addition, MSS operators are setting their revenue targets to single-digits in the near-term as they take into account delayed or lower communications budgets in key verticals

The global mobile satellite system (GMSS) is a general term referring to the selection of satellite phone providers available to private customers. It is a term analogous to public land mobile network (PLMN), referring to wireless telephony (cellular) carriers, and public switched telephone network (PSTN), referring to traditional wire-based telephony.

As of 2008, the allocated GMSS carriers were: Iridium Satellite LLC, Globalstar, Ellipso (a non-operational service, with no satellites launched), and ICO Global Communications.Mobile satellite services

With more than a half-million subscribers on the Iridium platform, Inmarsat having completed designs for three high-power Ka-band satellites, and Globalstar successfully launching the first 18 of its next-generation satellite constellation, the MSS market is poised for the next phase of growth.

For some systems the next 2-3 years will be critical as they must successfully finance, launch and deploy new constellations of satellites to maintain or commence service. All of the companies are taking steps to develop partnerships across these areas.

Financial partnerships include both individual company programs conducted by Globalstar and Iridium as well as cross-company investments by private equity firms such as Harbinger Capital, who are invested in Inmarsat, MSV and TerreStar.

For more information on the mobile satellite service market, see the latest research: Mobile Satellite Service Market

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