The telecommunications sector is an important part of any economy as it is closely interlinked to other sectors of the whole ecosystem. As a result, there is a spillover effect which helps boost the economy. According to the World Bank, for every 10 per cent increase in broadband connectivity in developing nations, GDP rises by 1.38 per cent. Moreover, the economy and its overall infrastructure are changing; while in the past businesses invested in properties, gold, equipment as the main asset, a new type of asset is emerging now – data. Data is becoming a key measure of whether a company will remain relevant through the digital revolution or no, thus its transmission, security and ease of access are becoming crucial factors for any business. Satcom solutions help address these needs, helping companies operate 24/7 even in remote areas and without the need to scarify their operational efficiency.
Some of the biggest challenges faced by satellite providers in the Middle East are as follows:
- Regulatory issues: Lack of common regulatory basis for the region makes it impossible to have a regional project. A country-by-country approach is not efficient on account of high costs involved. Having said this, governments acknowledge the importance of satellite communication for the growth of the economy.
- Low bandwidth: As compared to the terrestrial media, particularly the optical fiber, the bandwidth supported by satellites is much less. Though present satellites provide much more bandwidth than the satellites of the 1970s and 1980s, the bandwidth is nowhere comparable to the optical fiber bandwidth. This challenge is being met with advances in technology like high throughput satellite, fiber in the sky.
Despite the above challenges, the global SATCOM equipment market is estimated to be USD 20.20 Billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 30.32 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 8.46% from 2017 to 2022.