Very low-earth orbit satellite market set to reach new heights

Written by Yanitsa Boyadzhieva for TelecomTV

Very low-earth orbit satellite market set to reach new heights
  • The satellite comms market is getting hotter
  • The very low-earth orbit (VLEO) satellite market is poised for significant expansion
  • According to Juniper Research, this segment will grow significantly, with investments surpassing $200bn in the next three years
  • The telco sector is highlighted as key for monetisation opportunities in the VLEO area

While much of the telecom sector’s focus on satellite developments in recent years has been on the potential of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations, such as Starlink and OneWeb, analyst firm Juniper Research believes the next big wave of investment will be in the very low-earth orbit (VLEO) satellite sector.

The research house predicts the value of investments in VLEO technology developers globally will grow by almost 1,200% in the next three years, from about $17bn this year to $220bn in 2027.

As the name implies, VLEO differs from LEO in terms of the altitude that is used for operation: VLEO satellites operate at an altitude of around 300km (with the European Defence Agency stating that the most common range of VLEOs is between 250 and 350 km), while LEO satellites generally operate at altitudes from about 450 km to 2,000 km above Earth.

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