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New WTA Report, Explores the Opportunities for Ground Segment Operators

The World Teleport Association (WTA) today released Pros and Cons of the LEO Gateway Business, a new research report that explores how the explosive wave of growth in LEO constellations for broadband and Earth observation has given rise to unexpected demand for communication gateways around the world. This new LEO revolution is having a significant impact on the teleport sector, and there is optimism among operators, service providers and technology vendors that a sizable, long-term business opportunity is developing.

“The new LEO constellations have sparked strong demand for high-quality ground segment with robust infrastructure and major fiber connectivity,” said executive director Robert Bell. “Teleports are a natural partner when it comes to gateways, just as they have long been for GEO operators. Long-term, the question for teleport operators – whose business is based on providing value-added over and above connectivity – is how else they can contribute to the success of their LEO customers.”

There is no shortage of forecasts that promise great things from the LEO market over the next decade. The low-end of market growth projections see the sector surpassing $2 billion in the immediate future due to the increasing adoption of LEO services by a variety of sectors and customers as well as greater integration into the larger communications sector overall. And more optimistic forecasts that attempt to measure the broader impact of LEO satellite services see the global impact approaching $10 billion today and nearing $20 billion by 2026.

Teleport operators have seized these growing opportunities, because they already represent what one LEO gateway buyer called “high-quality real estate” – secure, frequency-cleared locations with uninterruptible power, high-bandwidth terrestrial connectivity and staff experienced in systems operation and maintenance. For teleports that can meet the stringent requirements, including a horizon-to-horizon view of the sky, the LEO gateway business offers a welcome addition to recurring revenue. But with many LEO constellation operators maintaining end-to-end control over service, what opportunities do teleport operators have to add value?

Through interviews with operations executives at teleports and satellite operators, technology companies and constellation developers, WTA looks at the requirements for entry into the gateway business and its long-term value and limitations.


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