FoodfindsAsia.com | Video Distribution Continues to rely on Satellite, despite the rise of OTT | The Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA) hosted its annual Satellite Industry Forum on Thursday, November 18, as a virtual conference to wrap up the Asia Video Summit umbrella of events this year.
Caleb Henry, Senior Analyst, Quilty Analytics, opened the Forum with a look at Satellite Trends and Forecasts Post-Covid. The traditional satcom industry is still undergoing rapid transformation and upheaval. Even though a few major players currently control most aspects of the industry, this could change dramatically in the next five years as new technologies and standards are introduced. While the impact of Covid has slowed investment in the space industry, all 13 space SPACs have collectively raised $5.5 billion.
As Stephen Spengler’s final keynote before he steps down as CEO of Intelsat, AVIA was honored to host the distinguished speaker. In 2015, Spengler gave his first keynote address as CEO at the Satellite Industry Forum, so it was only fitting that the Forum would be his final address.
It is still possible for the industry to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible, but it has not yet reached its full potential in fulfilling its crucial role in the global telecommunications landscape.. Satellite remains an essential and enabling technology, with the ubiquity, reach, and economics to serve the networks, as digital video accounts for 70% of internet traffic.
According to Spengler, linear and pay TV distribution will continue to be a driving application for the Asia Pacific region, with annual growth rates of 2.5%. Spengler, too, was enthusiastic about the potential of 5G as a game-changer. The 5G world will become more seamless, interconnected, and cost-effective if satellite is fully integrated into it.
Spengler concluded his keynote speech by outlining Intelsat’s vision for a future global telecommunications ecosystem. Satellite and terrestrial networks and providers must be integrated into a single global ecosystem in order to achieve this vision. “If we focus on our customers, the people who benefit from a more connected world, that’s success for the next year and beyond,” said Spengler.
Satellite operators in the Asia Pacific region expressed similar positive sentiments despite the shift from broadcast to streaming. He believes that satellite is still the primary platform for delivering video services across the country, and that platforms themselves are adapting their service offerings to include streaming as they move away from traditional delivery methods such as DVDs. As a result, broadcast and streaming will complement each other, with linear still having a role to play, and streaming alongside it. There are many streaming services available in Australia but Nick Leake, Optus’ Head of Satellite and Space Systems, expects satellite to remain in use for at least another 10 years. Roger Tong, CEO of AsiaSat, added that the greatest challenge for Asia Pacific remains scale in order to provide reliable networks for customers. As regulatory restrictions on consolidation remain a major issue in the region, Tong believes that more partnerships between competing satellite operators are necessary in the future.
The Sunil Bharti Bharti Enterprises Founder and Chairman Bharti Mittal, who is also the Executive Chairman of OneWeb, was a keynote speaker at this year’s Forum. In the new world, NGSOs have solved the problem of low latency, high speed, and enough capacity to meet the needs of today and the future. Mittal sees 5G as a game changer because of its low latency, which is ideal for industrial applications. Although NGSOs will play an important role in the 5G ecosystem, Mittal also noted that they will only play a peripheral role in supporting 5G goals. On the other hand, Mittal also agreed with OneWeb’s goal of connecting all areas of the world, from oceans to air travel. There should be no one in the world who isn’t connected in five years, Mittal said.
AsiaSat, Eutelsat, Hughes, Intelsat, Marsh, and Maxar have generously sponsored the Satellite Industry Forum.