Spectrum, a firm of consultants retained by Anatel to develop a diagnosis of the satellite segment in Brazil and worldwide, triggered apprehension among the industry executives and professionals who attended a seminar in São Paulo last week. Entitled ?Solutions in Telecommunications: Satellite Applications?, the seminar was held Wednesday, August 13, by Converge Eventos and PAY-TV, TELETIME and Tela Viva magazines. Spectrum?s presentation, delivered by director Paulo Ricardo Balduino, covered only the conclusions of the study commissioned by Anatel. The rest is confidential and Anatel won?t allow anyone to publish it.
The conclusions were somber. According to Spectrum, direct-to-home TV (DTH) accounts for more than half the space segment?s market potential, and in Brazil at least DTH is suffering from the overall crisis in the market for pay TV. Broadband and capacity leasing for data services, currently the main source of revenue for satellite operators, are low-margin businesses because of fierce competition. In applications involving non-geostationary satellites, such as global mobile communications, the tendency is for a single operator to remain in the market, even so thanks to the interest of governments, who see the technology as strategic.
Today the satellite segment is suffering from excess competition, Paulo Ricardo Balduino said, owing to the recession in telecoms and difficulties in cutting costs because of expensive insurance and the need to invest heavily in technological innovation. These factors affect satellite operators everywhere in the world and Latin America therefore offers low potential for development, according to the report Spectrum delivered to Anatel.
Mr Balduino?s presentation was contested by representatives of satellite operators who said there?s room for growth especially in broadband, which should drive overall expansion in the satellite segment.
According to Spectrum, India, China, Russia and South Africa offer the most growth potential in this segment today. To combat negative trends elsewhere, it argues, operators must integrate vertically and insurance costs must fall. This in turn requires an improvement in reliability.