Thanks to major providers such as Viasat
(NASDAQ: VSAT) , Avanti, Yahsat, SpaceX, OneWeb, , Geespace, Telesat (TSX: TSAT.TO) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) , the remainder or the world’s unconnected
regions will soon come online through innovative satellite technology. The market for satellite Wi-Fi is growing rapidly, and as it continues
to gain momentum, powering the associated ground infrastructure in remote areas
will be critical to ensuring its sustained success. Ultimately, clean tech will
provide the reliable power solution needed for this market.
Early Market Growth
In the last few years, players in the satellite Wi-Fi market have seen continued
growth as the adoption of satellite services has increased, especially in
developing countries. For example, Viasat’s revenue was up by 24% in 2022 compared to 2021. Such
growth is expected to continue as the satellite internet market is projected to be worth $18.59 billion by 2030. Also, the recently announced partnership between Eutelsat and
OneWeb is a positive sign for the growth of the market.
The Market Potential For Connectivity
Although connectivity is becoming ubiquitous, the distribution of
internet access around the world remains highly unequal. In fact, billions of
people are not connected to the internet globally, and less than 1 in 5 people in the least developed
countries are connected. This is known as the digital divide.
An increasingly relevant and underlying cause of the digital divide is
the inability of power infrastructure to provide reliable connectivity. In
urban areas, although power infrastructure is available, the grid is becoming
increasingly unreliable and costly to maintain. Even more so than in urban centers,
inadequate power infrastructure presents a challenge for connectivity
deployment in rural areas, as the grid is often outdated, and massive
infrastructure upgrades cost billions of dollars.
The Role of Clean, Smart Technology
As a result, when companies such as Viasat (NASDAQ: VSAT), and SpaceX deploy satellites, they are
going to need off-grid energy to power their ground infrastructure, especially
when bringing satellite services to new regions where grid power is
cost-prohibitive to implement. And to implement off-grid power that is low-cost
and reliable, smart technology is critical.
Smart solar power can now offer much lower costs and higher reliability
when compared to conventional off-grid systems. Smart technology uses energy
forecasting, remote management, and intelligent analytics to optimize the
performance of off-grid power systems. Smart technology will thus provide the
low-cost power solution required for the expansion of rural satellite Wi-Fi
systems, which are instrumental in bringing communities online and unlocking
their economic potential.
A Boom For Satellite Internet and Clean Technology
The use of satellite Wi-Fi to enhance connectivity is already being deployed. However, it has yet
to reach the regions with the most significant unconnected populations. For
instance, Space X’s Starlink currently services customers in North America and
Europe, but has yet to reach its full potential by expanding its serviceability
to the regions with the most unconnected people.
So, what’s the significance of this? Well, the point is that the
satellite Wi-Fi market is on the cusp of a major boom. As of 2020, 41% of the world’s population had not yet
connected to the internet. According to a 2020 report by the World Economic Forum, the majority of the
world’s unconnected population lives in rural parts of Africa, South America
and South Asia. The Covid-19 pandemic has driven a push toward universal
internet connectivity, meaning there is an enormous market opportunity to bring
millions of unconnected people online through satellites. Where laying new
power lines is simply not feasible, these satellites will be powered by smart
Smart, clean technology can thus provide the low-cost power
infrastructure necessary to support satellite connectivity where grid
infrastructure is poor and too costly to upgrade. As satellite Wi-Fi providers
such as Viasat (NASDAQ: VSAT), Avanti, and SpaceX push
to expand service to developing countries and capitalize on this market
opportunity, they will undoubtedly look to clean technology to power these
Satellite internet is the future. If we are going to unlock the immense socioeconomic benefits of
connectivity for all, satellites must play an integral role. The Satellite Wi-Fi
industry is on the cusp of bringing millions of people online, and major growth
is in the forecast for all players involved. Off-grid power technology will be a
key facilitator of this rollout, providing the power infrastructure required to
make rural connectivity sustainable and scalable.