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Space News: The List / 2014 Top Fixed Satellite Service Operators

This year’s SpaceNews Top Fixed Satellite Services Operators rankings are distorted by the sharp rise of the U.S. dollar against most major currencies toward the end of the year. The effect has been to show revenue declines at some companies that, when reporting in their local currencies, actually showed revenue growth.

by Peter de Selding

This year’s SpaceNews Top Fixed Satellite Services Operators rankings are distorted by the sharp rise of the U.S. dollar against most major currencies toward the end of the year. The effect has been to show revenue declines at some companies that, when reporting in their local currencies, actually showed revenue growth.

Also notable for 2014 was the healthy increase, even in dollar terms, in revenue at the three Russia-based operators, which benefited from long-planned capacity growth that was slow in coming in part due to the Russian Proton rocket’s troubles.

This year’s chart welcomes a new player: Yahsat of the United Arab Emirates, which in recent months has shown it has no intention of focusing only on the Middle East. Its next stop is South America. Yahsat is likely to be followed in the coming years by Es’hailSat of Qatar, which has made no secret of its ambitions.

Just as the difference between broadcasting satellite services and fixed satellite services has faded, so too has the distinction between fixed and mobile satellite services as distinct businesses. Perhaps the most recent example of this is the Intelsat-OneWeb agreement to give mobile customers the ability to switch between OneWeb’s planned low-orbiting constellation and Intelsat’s Epic high-throughput satellites.

For the purposes of this ranking, we list here companies that lease their capacity on geostationary-orbiting satellites for video, voice and data traffic. Mobile satellite services operators and companies devoted to consumer broadband service provision are not included, nor are direct broadcast satellite operators providing a bundled satellite-user terminal offer to customers.

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