What we are witnessing today is the coming of age for satellite communications (SATCOM), as personal communication devices (PCDs) extend into the mass consumer market, a segment Beam Communications is more than familiar with, as the company has been supplying solutions for consumers since 2002.
The rapid expansion of the market has been in play for years. If you look at the earnings results of some of the key industry players, such as Iridium Communications, these companies are only now enjoying sufficient scale and consumer awareness to be consumer relevant.
That is why 2023 is shaping up to be a most exciting period for the SATCOM sector, as the momentum in the PCD space continues to grow significantly. I am predicting two key developments that underpin my outlook for the year.
The first is the trend for consumers to embrace lower cost, local holiday experiences, rather than overseas travel, which often involves staying in large cities.
In contrast, those who enjoy local holidays tend to spend more on outdoor activities, such as hiking, caravaning and boating. These endeavors often take holiday makers out of cellular coverage and will prompt many to turn to personal SATCOM solutions, such as Beam’s ZOLEO, to stay connected.
The second driver is the launch of direct-to-device satellite services. For instance, the buzz that Apple created by including a rudimentary satellite function in the iPhone14 has bolstered consumer awareness of the importance of having a near-constant connection.
We’ll see more mobile phone manufacturers looking to include such functionality as the year progresses. However given the limitations of such services, that will leave many wanting deeper services and consumers will be looking for a more reliable, standalone, global offering.
By extension, Beam’s long-standing partner, Iridium Communications, is likely to continue to do well, given its leadership position in the PCD market, particularly in light of its new, Iridium Certus offering, which will open new markets during 2023.
Beam is proud to be part of this story as we have secured a $12 million contract to develop and supply an innovative, Iridium Certus device.