Nicky Briggs, VP and Principal Analyst and Phil Brunkard, Executive Partner and Senior Analyst
There’s a new “space race” happening, but it’s not a race between nations or even aerospace firms. It’s a race to see which firms can most effectively apply new satellite technology to new business models. In this episode, VP and Principal Analyst Nicky Briggs and Executive Partner and Senior Analyst Phil Brunkard review new research on low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellites and related solutions and how they’re driving innovation across various industries.
The episode starts with an overview of some of the recent changes in the space technology field and, specifically, an explanation of how LEO satellites, which orbit 500–2,000 kilometers above earth, differ from traditional geostationary satellites. The analysts describe some of the advantages that LEO satellites offer to businesses, including wider coverage, lower latency, and higher data-rate packages in remote regions. These business-focused capabilities, combined with the decreasing cost of launching satellites, are bringing a lot of new interest and venture capital into the market, says Briggs. The analysts discuss several real or near-real applications for LEO satellites in industries as diverse as transportation, oil and gas, and insurance.
Of course, no technology is without its challenges and risks, and LEO satellites and related solutions have their share. Simply increasing the number of LEO satellites in orbit has increased the risk of collisions and accumulation of debris from those collisions. Cybersecurity concerns are also an ongoing risk, and there are questions about how to properly insure the industry.
Later in the episode, the analysts provide their perspectives on where LEO satellite technology will go in the near and long term and how its growth could vary across global regions.
The episode wraps with each analyst providing their recommended next steps for firms looking to get started or expand in this emerging space, including insight on how to work with service providers and vendors. “You have to go in with your eyes open,” says Briggs. “Ask yourself how it can actually help your business do something better, faster, cheaper, or more safely than you’re doing it today.”