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The New Space Opportunity for Today’s Large and Small Commercial Enterprises 

When the internet first came on the scene in the 1990’s, its potential value was difficult for many to see and understand, despite the great promise it held. Before long, forward-looking companies began building new applications, processes, and solutions that leveraged this entirely new architecture and the capabilities inherent within. The pace of development would soon accelerate, changing the world of technology, communications, and business forever.  

The rapidly evolving New Space industry is following a similar trajectory.   

While space-based networks have been around for decades, most companies have not had access to them. Marked by volatility, risk, prohibitive costs, and a complex value chain, space was seen as inaccessible to many enterprises and available only to those with ample resources or those operating in industries with unique and narrow requirements. This is no longer the reality.   

“We’re in the middle of this change right now,” says Edy Valdes, Solutions Architect with Intelsat. “New Space is an environment that is evolving so quickly. Consumers and corporate customers are coming up with new use cases that leverage space as the infrastructure.” 

Advancements in technology, reductions in costs associated with launches and hardware, and increases in the ease of interoperability with terrestrial assets have made it easier than ever for companies to become either consumers of space-based solutions or developers of their own business ventures.   

“We’ve seen this with the Internet, another platform-specific technology, and now with mobile computing and AI – New Space is following the exact same curve,” Valdez continued. “As the cost to launch things continues to go down, it will open up access both to space in general but also low Earth orbits, medium Earth orbits, and beyond, bringing newer technologies into space and unlocking billions of dollars in new use cases.”  

Enterprises today increasingly rely on data analytics and access to information in their day-to-day operations to gain greater situational awareness and stay ahead of their competition. Valdez believes that New Space solutions can be ideal for companies looking to gather more data and move information efficiently, cost-effectively, and privately around the world.  

“Space is quite literally a global technology and a global platform. With more enterprise-grade level solutions incorporating AI, new data types, and new ways to compute, space can be the infrastructure that allows you to quickly deploy and operationalize new capabilities without depending on ground and traditional infrastructure providers.” 

The New Space opportunity is not limited to large global enterprises with more substantial resources. Smaller companies can also take advantage of the landscape and use space-based solutions to manage supply chains, track movements of goods, ingest and action new sources and types of data, deploy robots to take on dangerous jobs, and solve any number of business challenges.  

“It’s very easy to focus on the larger organizations using tons of data centers or connectivity solutions. Smaller companies trying to solve commercial problems would be surprised to learn they can leverage New Space in vast ways. Whereas it may have once been cost prohibitive for space to be part of their tool stack, now it can be.”  

For companies thinking about pursuing New Space opportunities, Valdes advises focusing on the problem or objective at hand. Be creative about developing new use cases that may not have been possible ten years earlier because of costs or technology that didn’t yet exist. He also emphasizes the importance of building partnerships with companies that can deliver access to infrastructure, help maximize performance, and achieve scale.   

“New Space is hard. It’s a complex end-to-end value chain and there are so many moving parts in the industry that are difficult to manage. It is important to partner with companies that have the right capabilities, experience, and an understanding of the forward-looking vision that will be needed to deliver solutions.” 

To hear more of Edy Valdez’s perspectives on the New Space commercial opportunity, listen to the full podcast episode here now available at www.satelliteworldtoday.com

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