As satellite operators have struggled with the commercialization of bandwidth, they have sought to expand their offerings along the value chain, packaging the connectivity they sell into value-added services aimed at making it more attractive. A similar process is now also under way in the ground segment. New technologies such as cloud computing, software-defined modems, and other virtual infrastructure are commodifying more and more of the technology that the ground segment has traditionally provided.

In response, teleport operators are looking to new business models such as Ground Station-as-a-Service (GSaaS) and tighter integration with cloud and network providers, said Robert Bell, executive director of the World Teleport Association.

It’s not the first time the industry has had to adapt, he said. “Thirty years ago it was decent business to basically just wear a signal for someone. You could set up a signal and charge for it, and life was good. But that was commercialized pretty quickly…

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