SES will report its Q3 revenues on November 5th and Investment bank Exane/BNPP expects overall revenues to fall, but they also add that the satellite operator’s fast-growing Networks division will show further growth.
The bank says it expects overall revenues at SES to fall back 3.1 percent to about 454 million euros for the quarter and suggests that the decline in SES Video revenues will again fall, expecting an 8 percent decline in the division’s organic revenues.
“We continue to expect Government and Fixed Data to accelerate their rate of growth in Q3 2020 but Mobility to suffer a slow down due to the Covid 19 impact on the aeronautical industry,” said the bank’s note to clients.
However, the bank highlights the likely growth in SES Network’s division and expects the rise in revenue to be a little slower than the 6.5 percent enjoyed in Q2, and stated it expects Q3 revenues to rise by 5 percent.
“We expect this reporting to mark the 11th consecutive quarter of revenue growth at SES Networks to underpin our positive view on the stock,” Exane/BNPP stated.
Financial analysts from consultancy firm Cowan have looked at the prospects for Elon Musk’s Starlink mega constellation and the claims that Starlink could serve 485,000 users simultaneously with 100 Mb/s broadband service.
It also emerged in a Tweet from Musk that an IPO for the Starlink project is under consideration “but several years in the future.”
Musk said, “Public market does not like erratic cash flow — haha. I’m a huge fan of small retail investors. Will make sure they get top priority. You can hold me to it.”
SpaceX cancelled its planned 13th flight of Starlink satellites on September 28th because of bad weather. It will likely take place in a few days and add another 60 satellites taking the total to more than 770 craft.
SpaceX is already beta-testing its system among ‘friends and family’ users but will reportedly open up the beta trial to a wider universe in November, to be followed by an initial commercial service this coming winter. Beta testers are enjoying claimed download speeds of “greater than 100 Mb/s” and latency of an impressive 18-19 milliseconds, although admitting that a round trip for a message is closer to 40-50 milliseconds.
But Cowan’s analysis admits that “each satellite in the SpaceX system provides aggregate downlink capacity to users ranging from 17 to 23 Gbit/s” (1Gbps = 1000Mb/s+).” The analysts suggest that each of the Starlink satellites could manage 200 simultaneous users at 100 Mbit/s.
Cowan explains itself, saying, “Thus, assuming 100 percent efficiency (not realistic, but we are simply providing context as a high book-end), and assuming 20Gbit/s per satellite implies that each satellite can handle 200 simultaneous streams at 100 Mbit/s.”
Of course, not every user will be online at the same time, nor will they all demand 100 MB/s of throughput. This allows ‘oversubscription’, with a three-times oversubscribed number of users equaling around 1.5 million addressable users.
Cowan makes its key point in saying that even the Starlink system will have obvious limitations. Starlink itself will have to balance access to their orbiting network, perhaps by pricing or data limits. It is also worth remembering that even Musk has admitted that Starlink has its technology – and perhaps administrative – limits.
“Starlink is not some huge threat to telcos. I want to be super clear: it is not,” Musk said earlier this year. “5G is great for high density situations, but it’s actually not great for the countryside, you know, for rural areas. It’s not great; you need range. And so in any kind of sparse environment 5G is really not well suited.”
News stories authored by journalist Chris Forrester, who posts for the Advanced Television infosite and is also a Senior Contributor for Satnews Publishers.