Global revenue across the satellite industry grew 16 percent in 2007 to $123 billion, bolstered by growth in the satellite services, launch services and ground hardware sectors, according to the Satellite Industry Association's (SIA) annual report released June 11.
Satellite services remained the largest sector of the industry, taking in $79.3 billion in 2007, with consumer applications continuing to generate increased revenue. Satellite television accounted for much of the growth last year, generating $55.4 billion, an $8.5 billion increase. The number of available high-definition satellite television channels grew by 150 percent in the last 17 months, and is projected to grow 350 percent by 2013.
Satellite radio for the third consecutive year saw significantly increased revenue, up 31 percent to $2.1 billion, with the number of subscribers growing by 27 percent. Mobile satellite services grew slightly to $2.1 billion. The lump-sum category of transponder agreements, network management services, end-user broadband and remote sensing grew from $12.1 billion to $14.3 billion in 2007.
Global launch industry revenue was up 19 percent on the year to $3.2 billion, marking a significant turnaround after falling 10 percent the previous year. Forty-nine commercial launches took place in 2007, eight more than in 2006. Fifty-three percent of launch revenue came from governments, and 47 percent came from commercial customers. The number of launches by U.S. companies fell by two last year, resulting in no change from the $1 billion revenue earned in 2006.
Ground equipment revenue was up 19 percent on the year to $34.3 billion, driven by strong sales of consumer hardware. The number of end-user terminals for many types of consumer hardware grew significantly in 2007, with the number of satellite television terminals growing from 88.7 million to 100.5 million and the number of satellite radio terminals growing from 14.2 million to 18 million. The number of terminals for mobile satellite services, mobile satellite television services, and end-user broadband services also grew.
The only sector that saw declined global revenue in 2007 was the satellite manufacturing industry, falling from $12 billion to $11.6 billion. There were 21 orders placed for geostationary satellites in 2007, four fewer than the previous year. The United States accounted for 41 percent of the global satellite manufacturing revenue, and U.S. satellite manufacturing sales dipped from $5 billion to $4.8 billion.
"We think [the overall growth] represents a fundamental robustness of the satellite industry and perhaps indicates an ability to weather the business cycles we see now and that are ahead," said SIA President Patricia Cooper. "[The data tell us] there's a pretty steady interdependence of the sectors and a maturity within each of the sectors."
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