2007 Satellite Industry Revenue Grows 16%

Global revenue across thesatellite industry grew 16 percent in 2007 to $123 billion, bolstered by growthin the satellite services, launch services and ground hardware sectors,according to the Satellite Industry Association's (SIA) annual report releasedJune 11.

Satellite servicesremained the largest sector of the industry, taking in $79.3 billion in 2007,with consumer applications continuing to generate increased revenue. Satellitetelevision accounted for much of the growth last year, generating $55.4billion, an $8.5 billion increase. The number of available high-definitionsatellite television channels grew by 150 percent in the last 17 months, and isprojected to grow 350 percent by 2013.

Satelliteradio for the third consecutive year saw significantly increased revenue,up 31 percent to $2.1 billion, with the number of subscribers growing by 27percent. Mobile satellite services grew slightly to $2.1 billion. The lump-sumcategory of transponder agreements, network management services, end-userbroadband and remote sensing grew from $12.1 billion to $14.3 billion in 2007.

Global launch industryrevenue was up 19 percent on the year to $3.2 billion, marking a significantturnaround after falling 10 percent the previous year. Forty-nine commerciallaunches took place in 2007, eight more than in 2006. Fifty-three percent oflaunch revenue came from governments, and 47 percent came from commercialcustomers. 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 revenuewas up 19 percent on the year to $34.3 billion, driven by strong sales ofconsumer hardware. The number of end-user terminals for many types of consumerhardware grew significantly in 2007, with the number of satellite televisionterminals growing from 88.7 million to 100.5 million and the number ofsatellite radio terminals growing from 14.2 million to 18 million. The numberof terminals for mobilesatellite services, mobile satellite television services, and end-userbroadband services also grew.

The only sector that sawdeclined global revenue in 2007 was the satellite manufacturing industry,falling from $12 billion to $11.6 billion. There were 21 orders placed forgeostationary 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 [theoverall growth] represents a fundamental robustness of the satellite industryand perhaps indicates an ability to weather the business cycles we see now andthat are ahead," said SIA President Patricia Cooper. "[The data tellus] there's a pretty steady interdependence of the sectors and a maturitywithin each of the sectors."



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SpaceNews defense reporter

Turner Brinton is the director for public relations at Maxar Technologies, a space technology company based in Westminster, Colorado that develops satellites, spacecraft and space infrastructure. From 2007 to 2011, Turner served as a defense reporter for SpaceNews International, a trade publication dedicated to the global space industry. He left SpaceNews in 2011 to work in communications for Intelsat and later DigitalGlobe before joining the Maxar team.