Chinese Satellite Industry to Disrupt Markets Across Eurasia

NSR’s China Satcom Markets Report Forecasts Aggressive Chinese Exporting

CAMBRIDGE, MA  (Northern Sky Research PR) – NSR’s industry-first China Satcom Markets (CSM) report, released today, finds a Chinese satellite industry primed to take a larger share of the global satcom market through attractive one-stop-shop offerings, aggressive growth plans and enhanced exports.  For GEO-HTS satellites alone, NSR forecasts Chinese state-owned companies to manufacture and launch over 800 Gbps of capacity by 2026, with much of this coming over Southeast Asia, East Asia, and South Asia.

Since the end of the cold war, the satellite and space industry has been a duopoly between the United States and EU, with other players such as Russia, Japan, and now India playing a secondary role. At some point soon, however, it appears likely China will assume a position as a top tier space nation globally, with significant ramifications for the satellite telecoms industry.

“China’s most recent five-year plan (2016-2020) notes a goal to improve launch & manufacturing capabilities, specifically for new satellite platforms. This translates into more satellites being exported by China to developing countries, with at least 3 ordered in 2018 thus far,” notes Jose Del Rosario, NSR Research Director.

China is primarily targeting turnkey projects, oftentimes including key financing mechanisms, as well as launching and manufacturing arrangements. Over the coming years, NSR expects this to add up to approx. 10-15% more capacity over regions across Eurasia, and in some instances Latin America. The capacity added will be significant but will not be catastrophic for the market.

NSR’s China Satcom Markets (CSM) report combines a deep understanding of China’s space and satellite export capabilities with an understanding of China’s geopolitical goals, and outlines how the Chinese satellite industry is primed to take a larger share of the global satcom market through aggressive exporting.

About the Report

NSR’s China Satcom Markets is an industry-first analysis of the impact China will have on the global satellite capacity picture, and the landscape of the Chinese domestic market. With forecasts for China-manufactured supply split by different frequency bands across all regions, and with detailed qualitative analysis about the assumptions for this capacity and its potential to disrupt, NSR’s CSM gives the reader a comprehensive understanding of China’s impact on the space industry, and the factors driving this transition. The study also includes forecasts of the China domestic market for supply, demand by application, and revenues by application, as well as discussion on recent deals and trends.

For additional information on this report, including a full table of contents, list of exhibits and executive summary, please visit www.nsr.com or call NSR at +1-617-674-7743.

  • windbourne

    My bet is that China will be screaming in under 2 years, that they can not compete. Not with Europe or America, but with SpaceX.
    Musk’s plan for building 7000 sats will be done via a heavily, if not fully, automated manufacturing line, and will no doubt have the ability to build these for 1-10% of what China can. More importantly, it will have flexibility to add different parts.

  • Michael Halpern

    heavily automated, some things you simply don’t want full automation for because of lack of advantages (qa oversight (using automated tools of course) and materials management) or it doesn’t make sense (inventory and maintenance or customization for other operators), other sat manufactures in the US also focus on a nice combo of quality and quantity, even when you are making a lot and launch costs are low, quality is an important factor. Another concern is China’s view on orbital safety, we dont know much about it but the fact that they did a live ASAT demonstration in an orbit that may have put a higher than average number of satellites at risk in 2007 may discourage operators.

    The biggest factor however may be launch, even before we consider bfr, even with China’s labor costs, you are comparing a partially reusable Kerolox rocket, to mostly hydrazine rockets that they have to retrieve wreckage of from the ground and lack any fine control over, they know roughly where they land and some usually land relatively close to small villages, and inside parks, all these things require extra management, complexities and for dealing with their propellant and residual from crashed boosters, extra skill sets and equipment that add up, dealing with such hazardous chemicals is very skilled labor, and no mater where you are skilled labor gets expensive.

  • MzUnGu

    Iridium, or Globalstar v2.0? I don’t see people wanted internet service that bad at those hard to reach places, unless it’s offered free for the poor. Iridium, or Globalstar are pretty much nich players at the space-cable business. Remembering how many bankruptcies or near-bankruptcies that Iridium and Globalstar had brought their owners, I would not bet on it…

    Plus Musk still have to keep his words on automating Model 3 assembly works, before moving to satellites.

  • I keep asking this exact same question! With Iridium, Orbcomm and Globalstar already serving their customers, who exactly is going to buy these services? These services have even upgraded their constellations to give the next generation of service. I realize Musk wants to create the demand (satellites) for his supply (reusable rockets), but does cell service really get people’s hearts pumping? People are way more passionate about their phone (Apple vs Android) than their service provider (how many people ohh and ahh if you switch to Verizon?).

  • MzUnGu

    Not sure how SpaceX wanna do it, seems it’ll requires some series ground equipment, even a Iridium phone is still $1000+, so I don’t think individuals are their customer.

    Large/small business maybe? If it’s for a hard to reach communities, I don’t know if I want to compete in a shrinking market as more and more cell towers goes up in the world.

    There is always the military, as these comm-swamps offer some redundancy with ASATS…. but a couple lasers in China or USSR could prob take care of these small sats.

    A good business proposition would be to develop some mobile laser zappers, that you can drive over to some random location and zap down some of these low flying birds, you can hire yourself out to the competition, or some rouge states. 😀

  • windbourne

    Who will buy it? I will.
    Look, I live South of Denver (highlands ranch). This is supposed to be a hi-tech area. No gigafiber, and we have our choice of:
    1) Century Link DSL, which promises to hold the price for a 40 MB( lasted 1 year for us then was bumbed up and they REFUSED to push it back).
    2) Comcast, who has a shared connection, and HORRIBLE DNS. We are now paying over $100 / month for a 200 MB connection and it is up/down CONSTANTLY. And their DNS is a disaster. I am re-setting up DNS again for our house.

    Look, if SX can REALLY do 1G with 20-30 ms ping time, for $50, heck for $120 / month, I will go there QUICKLY. I think that a LOT of Americans will just because the internet service in America is SOOOO horrible.

  • windbourne

    First off, give me a break. Tesla is not SX.
    Secondly, Model 3 production is over 1000 cars / week, and appears to be on track to be at 1500+ by end of Feb. All in all, Tesla should be at 5K M3 / week by q2.
    Third, Iridium and Globalstar are slow, horrible ping time, and EXPENSIVE.

    $50 / month for gigabyte speed will land LOTS OF ppl in AMerica, and likely all over the world. And I suspect that one of the biggest users of it will be Tesla.

  • windbourne

    They are NOT doing phones. This will only offer up internet. If you want phone over it, you will simply get a voip phone.
    If you want TV, you will simply get it as a service.
    By focusing on nothing EXCEPT IP, he makes it trivial to manage.
    In fact, this will be one of the smartest moves going.

  • windbourne

    Actually, I have to differ with you when it comes to QA. It is far far better to have that fully automated to check that. The issue is always what test cases are set up and checked. Good places spend money on QA testers.

    Even now, Tesla is learning a great deal about QA and automation. This same technology will no doubt be applied to SX.

    One side thought.
    Tesla has a number of stock owners whose real purpose is obviously to get insider info while working to force tesla under. When Tesla provides automation help to SX’s sat line, I am guessing that those same ppl willl launch a lawsuit to get loads of money from SX.

  • Michael Halpern

    As i said automated qa tools but you want a human in the loop in case of a defect the automated systems aren’t designed to catch, there are other situations where this is essential, for instance Nascar tires (my dad does software at the factory that makes them), they are all built by hand, for 2 reasons 1 the tires are all specific to each track and because fully automated tire building machines have too much margin for error at the rate they need to produce them. The flip is if the automated qa is too sensitive and everything works perfectly on the product but it’s throwing up far too many errors anyways

  • Michael Halpern

    Or Tesla can sell the production equipment to SX as they bought the company that makes the carbon fiber robotic equipment Tesla uses, selling the batteries too, don’t know if Tesla solar is capable of space grade solar cells, its important to remember Tesla is far more than a car company, they are a utility energy storage, battery manufacturer, solar manufacture robot manufacturer, home energy storage provider, they are multi fasseted that such people won’t have a leg to stand on

  • ThomasLMatula

    Which works as all that folks need now is Internet access. If you have a smart phone it will work on WiFi, just ask anyone who roams. And I stopped buying cable TV three years ago. My cable firm is so worried about how many are abandoning cable TV they are offering to provide me with Cable TV and Internet for $20 less than I am paying for just Internet. With the right marketing and pricing strategy this could spell doom to the existing cable and legacy phone services.

    Grandpa, who is AT&T? They were a firm that provided telephone service years ago. Grandpa, what is a telephone? It’s was a very primitive version of the universal communicator/computer you have in your pocket.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    The real test here is will the side benefits of China’s Belt and Road or an initiative like it attract the business? I fear the bribes to the world’s leadership cadres, the security to your regime the Chinese can provide, and the attraction most governments will have to the Chinese willingness to engage and moderate the local underworld will overcome any 2nd rate nature of their space sector compared to the American or European sector. Now the good news here is those same pressures the Chinese come to the table with have not garnered sales of ARJ-21’s or C-919. Thankfully the technical performance of those programs has so far been amazingly inferior. C-919 is still up in the air, maybe it can be saved. However on this front, I fear Chinese success, given their track record of co-opting the American business sector so well and having created very hard links of dependency on them.

  • MzUnGu

    IP or voice, the cost of equipment is still going to be up there in the $1000+, cuz u need to broacast the signal with enuf power up 600+km.

  • Michael Halpern

    Part of the advantage of phased array and initially there will be ground stations with short distance fiber and by mass producing the ground station equipment you can bring the costs down a lot via economies of scale, something Musk is quite familiar with

  • duheagle

    I think Tesla’s industrial engineers have already been providing such help to SpaceX for a long time. There’s a smaller building along the north side of the SpaceX Hawthorne plant with “TESLA” in huge letters on its side. It’s been there as long as SpaceX has been in the main building. I’ve always assumed it was there to house the people and prototypes for the mass production systems SpaceX has implemented over the years in its main facility. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit if it currently contains a prototype sat assembly line. Of course, it also wouldn’t surprise me if the sat production line is yesterday’s news and already being implemented at larger scale in Seattle. Right now, there might be a prototype assembly line for Raptors or something else connected with BFR-BFS in there instead.

  • duheagle

    Imperialism by exploitation never had a very impressive record for longevity. Imperialism by subsidy, though, would seem to be an intrinsically even shorter-lived proposition. China, because of its self-inflicted demographic wounds, is rapidly approaching times when its domestic financial resource requirements aren’t going to permit continuation of any large-scale program of subsidy for other autocratic regimes.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    In spite of all that their mercantile model is working very well. Their genius lies in working with local corruption as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. I think it’s going to work out for them. Don’t underestimate their ability to bring in various forms of foreign investment. Look at how they got the US business sector to invest it’s money, transfer it’s technology, and surrender its independence to them. Their MO is simple, give short term gain to your mark in exchange for long term transfer of ownership. In the end, the mark accepts this and eventually works to further it because it serves the marks best short term interests. I don’t doubt the points you make about China’s future problems, but I think their imperialism model may carry the day for them.

  • MzUnGu

    Ground stations? Where you read that from? Anyone really think SpaceX is going to set up ground stations around the world, and then cable it out to individual homes? Can’t you imagine the infrastructural cost? it’s prob more than the satellites.

  • Michael Halpern

    Read thier plans, the ground stations are really just pizza box flat panels, and that is just initially, later they will go directly with the v band constellation

  • MzUnGu

    One ground stations for multiple homes?

  • Michael Halpern

    Initially, but for homes close together

  • MzUnGu

    How is that marketable? U need to convince your neighbors to share the internet? I don’t even know some of my neighbor’s name. 😛

  • Michael Halpern

    As in 50 to 100 homes depending on area

  • MzUnGu

    Doesn’t that requires cabling, local ordnance, digging tranches, burrying cables…ect. Seems daunting.

  • Michael Halpern

    Yes but far less daunting than laying hundreds of miles of fiber to reach low population areas