Satellite phone is a telephone or mobile phone that has the ability to connect to orbiting satellites through radio signals. Satellite phones are similar to terrestrial mobile phones as they can connect to voice and short messaging service (SMS) as well as low bandwidth internet access. The advantage of a satellite phone is that its use is not restricted to the areas covered by cell towers. Satellite phones are specifically used for rescue missions, military purposes, mitigation of natural disasters, and public safety, and can be used in all or most terrestrial locations on the Earth’s surface. The newer models of satellite phones are also lighter, smaller, and provide better functionalities & features than ordinary mobile phones.
Impact of COVID-19 on the Industry
The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a restraining impact on the global mobile satellite phone market in 2020. This is mainly due to the lockdown restrictions that resulted in complete shutdown of factories and disruption in supply chains. However, many key players of the market took initiatives to sustain during the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, in July 2020, Blue Sky Network, a global satellite technology company and an Iridium Satellite Communications partner, announced the launch of the first & only protected docking station, ‘9575A Docking Station,’ for the ‘Iridium 9575A satellite phone.’ The Iridium 9575A is the only commercial mobile satellite phone that has the capability for Type I encryption accredited by the U.S. NSA (National Security Agency) for top secret voice communications. Thus, initiatives taken by key players is expected to help the market witness a rise in the growth rate during the forecast period.
Key Developments in the Industry
The leading companies operating in the global industry are adopting various growth strategies and business tactics such as partnerships, technological advancements, and product launches to acquire a leading position in the global market. These innovative strategies are estimated to consequently contribute to the growth of the mobile satellite phone market in the coming future. For instance, in April 2018, Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a UAE-based regional mobile-satellite service provider, announced the launch of the world’s first satellite smartphone, ‘Thuraya X5-Touch’ during a conference in Dubai. The Thuraya X5 has a 5.2” full HD touchscreen and it runs on the Android Operating System. It targets users who frequently move in & out of terrestrial coverage across a range of market sectors including energy projects, government missions, NGO deployments, and enterprise communications.
Forecast Analysis of Global Mobile Satellite Phone Market
The global mobile satellite phone market is anticipated to observe a striking growth over the forecast period due to continuous technological innovations & advancements in satellite phones by key market players. Conversely, mobile satellite phone companies have to follow the stringent regulatory standards, such as the International Electrochemical Commission 62262 (IEC 62262)/ European Standard EN 62262 while manufacturing of the satellite phone. This factor is predicted to hinder the market growth in the projected timeframe.
The rising adoption of mobile satellite phones is due to their ability to cater as a strong communication network during emergency situations, for co-ordination to help & rescue people stuck in extreme climatic conditions or manmade and natural disasters. This is the major factor predicted to foster the growth of the global market in the forecast period. According to the latest report published by Research Dive, the mobile satellite phone market is expected to garner $5,262.1 million during the forecast period (2020-2027). Geographically, the North America region is estimated to witness a significant growth in the projected timeframe, owing to huge investments by market players to enhance the application of mobile satellite phone in defense missions and public safety. The key players functioning in the global market include Globalstar, Inmarsat, Ericsson, Iridium Communications Inc., EchoStar Corporation, Thuraya Telecommunications, Intelsat, PKI Electronic Intelligence GmbH, AT&T, and Telstra.