Accessing satellites may be what distinguishes teleports from other communications service providers, but it is only a small part of their repertoire, according to WTA. Today's teleports are the channel by which satellite is integrated into complex networks involving fiber, wireless and mobile technologies in order to expand their reach beyond the edge of the network, broadcast one-to-many, or feed bandwidth-hungry applications. Teleport operators know how to simplify the complexities of space-based networks in order to make satellite links "just another port on the router." They have become among the world's leading experts in adapting Internet Protocol technology for high-latency circuits, "push" applications and other uses never envisioned by the developers of IP.
Leveraging those skills, commercial and broadcast operators increased the total number of teleports in operation 22 percent since 2004 to a total of over 1,780 worldwide, while commercial operators notched up 17 percent revenue growth.
The 2007 edition of the WTAs study entitled Sizing the Teleport Market provides the first global, regional and national statistics for teleports owned and operated by broadcast, cable and DTH channels as well as commercial operators in 155 nations. Globally, commercial providers operate 50 percent of the world's teleports. They account for US$15 billion in transmission services revenues, up 17 percent from 2004, and US$3 billion in annual capital spending on communications and information technology equipment, up 19 percent from 2004. Broadcasters, by contrast, operate 43 percent of the world's teleports and account for about $875 million in capital spending.
The study estimates the teleport sector is responsible for $15 billion, or nearly one-quarter, of the $62.6 billion in worldwide satellite transmission revenue. Revenue from value-added services has grown even faster than overall revenue for commercial operators. Excluding resale of satellite and fiber capacity, global revenue grew 19 percent from 2004 to reach $8.5 billion in 2007.
North America remained the single largest market for teleports services, with $4.1 billion in revenues, followed by Europe with $3.9 billion. The fastest-growing regions for commercial teleport operations were the Middle East (61 percent revenue growth to $793 million), Asia (50 percent growth to $3.5 billion) and Russia/NIS (40 percent growth to $540 million). By contrast, North America grew at a stately 8 percent (to $3.3 billion), Latin America at 7 percent (to $1.1 billion) and Europe at 4 percent.
The 2007 edition of Sizing the Teleport Market is available for download at www.worldteleport.org. It is free for WTA members and for sale to non-members.
In early November, the World Teleport Association released their rankings of the Top Teleport Operators of 2007. These operators were segmented into three categories: the Global Top Twenty, the Independent Top Twenty, and the Fast Twenty. Rankings are based on information submitted to the WTA by the companies as well as the published results of publicly held corporations. The rankings include companies owning and operating teleports, whether this is their primary business or platform for providing a broader array of services to customers.
The Global Top Twenty
The Global Top Twenty ranks companies based on revenues from all sources and include all operators. As the owner of US telco Broadwing as well as international fiber networks and Vyvx, Level 3 Communications was the surprise leader in the Global Top Twenty. The total revenues of the Global Top Twenty exceed US$12.8 billion, with individual companies ranging from over $3 billion to under $100 million. In order from largest to smallest, the Global Top Twenty of 2007 are:
The Independent Top Twenty
The Independent Top Twenty ranks companies based on revenue from all sources, but excludes companies whose core business is ownership and operation of a satellite fleet or terrestrial network. These 20 companies have focused relentlessly on innovation and value delivery. The total revenues of the Independent Top Twenty exceed $2.2 billion, with individual companies ranging from over a half billion dollars to under $20 million. In order from largest to smallest, the Independent Top Twenty of 2007 are:
The Fast Twenty
The Fast Twenty ranks all teleport-operating companies based on year-over-year revenue growth in their most recent fiscal years. (For individual growth rates, see the WTA website.) Revenues of the Fast Twenty exceed $7.5 billion. Israel-based Satlink led the pack with a stellar 116.28 percent growth rate. Though the teleport operations of Vyvx make up a small portion of its revenue, fiber giant Level 3 also made the Fast Twenty by virtue of its aggressive series of acquisitions, as did Fast Twenty companies Arqiva Satellite Media Solutions, and UpLit. From the fastest of the fast, the Fast Twenty of 2007 are:
About the Top Operator Rankings
The Top Operator rankings are compiled by surveying teleport operators around the world on their facilities, services and business results. These unique rankings reflect the often-unappreciated realities of the marketplace, according to WTA Executive Director Robert Bell.
"Teleports are critical for adding value for satellite carriers, fiber carriers, technology providers, systems integrators, and a broad variety of specialized service providers," said Bell. "Once almost entirely satellite-based, teleports now deploy a broad range of transmission and content management technology to meet their customers' needs. In compiling the rankings, WTA looks at the teleport sector as a whole and broken by individual segments, which allows us to see even the smallest players who are achieving outstanding growth."
The complete rankings are available on WTA's Web site by going to www.worldteleport.org and clicking on the Top Operators link on the News menu.
About World Teleport Association
Since 1985, the WTA has been the only trade association to focus on the business of satellite communications from the ground up. At the core of its membership are the world's most innovative operators of teleports, from independents to multinationals, niche service providers to global hybrid carriers. WTA is dedicated to helping teleport operators to improve their operations, develop their markets and grow their businesses within the $13 billion teleport sector of the global satellite industry. Companies that do business with teleports also find that WTA is the best investment they can make to open new channels to the industry.
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