New study of Northern Sky Research: Global SCADA, M2M and LDR via Satellite Markets

Northern Sky Research has just released the 2nd Edition of its “Global SCADA, M2M and LDR via Satellite Markets” research.

Demand for supervisory, control & data acquisition (SCADA), machine-to-machine (M2M) and low-data-rate (LDR) services are on the rise given the needs of key vertical markets. VSATs and MSS platforms that support sub 64 Kbps data rates are used for both asymmetric and symmetric systems, while higher throughput broadband systems act as relay stations as well as address specialized needs.

For low data rate systems, although the space segment costs are relatively minimal in many solutions available today, service revenues have exhibited high margins. Applications that include Blue Force Tracking (BFT) for the military, asset monitoring for the transportation industry as well as pipeline monitoring for the oil & gas industry are but a few examples that have provided healthy revenue streams. The main value proposition rests with network reliability, ubiquity of service and high levels of security in support of mission-critical requirements.

Today, however, broadband systems and new technologies are being contracted for needs that are currently LDR in nature, but applications such as CCTV for security purposes are being bundled to upscale for future requirements. The smart grid, digitization of oil fields, and automation across verticals are only a few examples of market developments taking place that are leading to higher levels of throughput.

Moreover, on the horizon are existing and upcoming programs, specifically high throughput satellites (HTS), which could potentially tap the market and perhaps cannibalize the market share of legacy offerings. Inmarsat’s upcoming Global Express, Iridium NEXT and other companies that have traditionally played key roles in the SCADA/M2M/LDR market are upping the ante, which could lead to the entrance of other HTS players.

Going forward therefore, the evolution of bandwidth needs as well as the solution mix is becoming more complex. With opportunities come threats, and the challenge is to navigate the emerging landscape and determine where each technology provides the best fit.

This NSR study analyzes key elements in terms of integration, competition, cost and preference in light of user requirements and ROI considerations. The frequency mix is evaluated and scrutinized in order to determine whether cannibalization or complementary solutions are in the offing for current and future solutions.

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