2022 – What a Wonderful Year!
January 31, 2023
By Adi Sfadia, Gilat CEO
As I look back at 2022, I must admit that it was simply fantastic. As the world cautiously came out of the COVID pandemic and many businesses resumed with global market recovery, we too at Gilat experienced growth, strengthened and created new partnerships and expanded business into new markets.
As the satellite communication industry was and continues to undergo tremendous innovation and change, and with it the requirements of the ground segment also changing, it was the perfect time to launch our next generation multi-service, multi-orbit ground segment, SkyEdge IV. 2022 was not only marked by the launch of the industry’s most advanced ground segment designed for the new era of satellite communication, but it was also a most rewarding year due to the phenomenal market acceptance by the satellite operators.
The massive transformation in the satellite communication industry was defined as the New Elastix Space Era. The growing demands for ubiquitous connectivity in a truly connected world are being addressed with unprecedented bandwidth provided by very high throughput GEO satellites and NGSO multi-orbit constellations. The new highly configurable software-defined satellites are built for high flexibility and agility; to best maximize their capabilities, it must be assured that both the satellites AND the ground segment are extremely elastic.
Furthermore, to be the most cost effective and with the utmost scalability, cloud technologies are being leveraged in this New Elastix Space Era. In the next generation of satellite communication, cloud elasticity will be the way things are done. Virtualization and the ability to work seamlessly in a cloud environment will support a cloud infrastructure and flexible data-throughput, thereby providing significant improvements to the economies of scale.
And finally, an Elastix Access Scheme is required of the ground segment to answer a variety of needs that include high throughput to very low throughput applications. A smart access scheme must address dynamic changes in the satellite network either due to physical conditions or changing needs. Network utilization must be optimized in the New Elastix Space Era more than ever before with speeds that are moving from Kbps to Gbps on a single terminal, with fast and dynamic adaption to change with maximum efficiency.
These four dimensions discussed above, Multi orbit, Software-Defined Satellites, Cloud and Elastix Access are the four dimensions defining the Elastix Era, and it is not a coincidence that the architecture of SkyEdge IV is built across these dimensions. By delivering exactly what the market needed, it came as no surprise that the response to SkyEdge IV was wonderful. Since its launch during the first quarter of 2022, SkyEdge IV systems were delivered to over 20 gateways worldwide, enabling hundreds of Gbps! And they have already secured tens of millions of dollars’ worth of contract awards which contributed to our outstanding year.
SkyEdge IV Already Capturing Market-Share
As an example, the large satellite operator’s SES and Intelsat chose SkyEdge IV for their next generation SATCOM needs. This choice demonstrates well SkyEdge IV’s unique capabilities.
SES selected the SkyEdge IV platform for its MEO constellation, O3b mPOWER. Furthermore, SkyEdge IV was selected to operate with its SES-17 satellite, a GEO VHTS designed for high-speed connectivity and flexibility. SES will deploy SkyEdge IV to deliver fixed services such as cellular backhaul and enterprise as well as for maritime cruise services. In fact, Gilat is the first to market in providing a multi-orbit platform. SkyEdge IV ensures unified operation with seamless switchover between GEO satellites and NGSO constellations.
Intelsat completed a strategic selection process and chose the SkyEdge IV platform for use in their latest high throughput satellite, Intelsat IS-40e, designed for inflight connectivity and mobile cellular backhaul services.
Additional Success in 2022
In addition to the great launch of SkyEdge IV, it was a fantastic year for us across multiple markets. Let’s take cellular backhaul, IFC and maritime as examples:
Cellular Backhaul Success
In 2022, Gilat continued to lead the industry with cellular backhaul over satellite. According to the latest report by industry analyst NSR, we are the number one vendor in modem shipments with a market share of approximately 40%. Gilat also continues to lead the 4G/LTE market with a 75% market share. During 2022, Gilat significantly expanded our geographic presence of CBH deployments in Japan, Latin America and Africa.
In 2022, Gilat’s partnership with Intelsat was further expanded, when they decided to expand their IFC capabilities. These significant expansions to Intelsat’s leading global aviation network provide an excellent demonstration of Gilat’s upward compatibility from SkyEdge II-c to SkyEdge IV.
Gilat’s market-leading Wavestream Ka-band AeroStream™ family of transceiver products for IFC also expanded its market presence, now with over 3,000 units successfully operating on commercial and business aviation aircraft worldwide.
Continuing our close and productive partnership with SES, in 2022 we introduced a premium maritime service to cruise lines with SkyEdge IV. The service will operate over both their GEO satellite and MEO constellation.
What Lies Ahead in 2023
Gilat is exceptionally proud to lead the industry in delivering broadband connectivity over satellite in the New Elastix Space Era. And just barely into 2023, the year ahead looks promising.
In 2023 we plan to expand our leadership position as the market continues to transition to more and more multi-orbit constellations and very high throughput satellites, with a focus on supporting the CBH, Military and Government, Mobility and Enterprise market segments. We will continue our 35-year heritage of constant innovation and our dedication to meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations.
But perhaps most importantly, we will continue to be driven by our belief that everyone, anywhere and at any time, must have access to communication services to improve and enhance their lives, be it for emergency services, medical care, education, social interaction, business, or recreation.