A ‘market shift’ toward NTN: GSMA Intelligence

GSMA intelligence

GSMA Intelligence begins tracking NTN developments as satellite and telecom converge

In a sign of the increasing convergence of telecom and satellite, GSMA Intelligence has put out its first quarterly tracker focused on satellite and Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN).

The report identified 91 telecommunications operators with signed partnerships with satellite companies, through distribution agreements. Those partnerships cover about 5 billion mobile subscribers globally (or about 60% of mobile users), according to GSMA Intelligence, and include both backhaul arrangements for mobile base stations (55% of deals) and direct-to-cellular capabilities (45% of the live or planned services).

“This is a market shift from the telco perspective, with satellite increasingly viewed as a pragmatic means of network extension and access to revenue streams – both consumer and B2B/IoT – not otherwise economically feasible,” according to a report summary.

Tim Hatt, head of research and consulting at GSMA Intelligence and lead author on the tracker report, said that there is “broad convergence between telco and satellite groups, and that has been building for several years. It’s there because it’s an economical way of extending terrestrial networks to areas that would be unaffordable using purely land-based network extension.

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