Affiliations: Institute for Applied Space Research, The George Washington University, 2033 K Street, NW, Suite 340, Washington, DC 20052, USA E‐mail: [email protected] | Mac Rae Technologies, 72 Sherbrook Drive, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922, USA E‐mail: [email protected]
Abstract: The last decade of the 20th century has been a period of considerable growth for the satellite communications business. This growth has been dominated by the distribution of TV to cable head ends, network affiliates and directly to the home. We expect that the next decade will continue to be a period of impressive growth for satellites. Increased demand for TV and for the transport and delivery of data and Intelsat services should drive this growth. Global demand for communications and deregulation should be a major factor as well. While new technology is important, the driving forces for this growth will be the marketplace for these services. The delivery of services directly to the home and to small businesses is expected to be a major driving force. While satellite‐based mobile telephony has experienced a disappointing start, this market and the delivery of Internet material directly to the home is expected to be a major satellite business. The 20th century relied on satellites located in GEO for these services. This will change, as constellations of LEO and MEO satellites provide global delivery of mobile and Internet services. This increased satellite business has not gone unnoticed. Our study indicated an impressive interest in the future of satellites and their increased markets by both foreign governments and businesses. These entities have instituted significant R&D programs to ensure their future presence in this growing market. The US needs to take heed to this foreign interest and to make similar R&D investments in this technology. In addition to technology, the ability of satellites to continue their business growth is dependent on the timely addressing of such issues as; continuing deregulation, the resolution of spectrum, standards, trade agreements, globalization of business entities and business and government leadership.