So, another fantastic WSBW Summit has been and gone and the neuco Executive Search team have finally been able to find the time to debrief on what was an incredible show. It was another sold-out event and there was a palpable buzz around the Westin with a huge number of topics taking centre stage at the summit, both on the panels and in the hallways and meeting rooms dotted around the venue.
We’ve summarised a few of the key talking points from the event below.
Direct to Device:
Unsurprisingly, direct to device solutions were the hot topic of discussion throughout the show. While it seems universally agreed by most in the industry that there certainly is a market, there seems to be little consensus on just how big that market will be and just how long it will take to realise the potential of these services.
Where’s the money?:
You will, I’m sure, have seen several announcements for funding rounds during the summit. However, something we heard from a few different people was that there seems to be a dwindling appetite for larger funding rounds that some of the more established start-ups need right now. As the NewSpace market begins to mature, and with substantial prior investments still awaiting a return on investment, investors are understandably becoming more cautious.
LEO connectivity has been a hot topic for a few years now but there was one provider that was spoken about more than any other and there didn’t seem to be many panels that didn’t touch on at least a brief discussion of Starlink. What is obvious is that the theme of the discussion has certainly shifted, there are no longer questions around the viability of such solutions and now much more of a focus on how other providers will differentiate their offering from Starlink in order to mop up the obvious demand.
GEO Still Has a Part to Play, Especially for Regional Operators:
While LEO certainly dominated discussions, it’s obvious that GEO is not dead yet. There were a number of regional operators all shunning LEO platforms in favour of GEO as the need for a lot of capacity in a small footprint means that it is still the platform of choice for them. A further show of support for the GEO market came with the announcement of an additional $28m in funding for Swissto12 to keep up with the demand for their HummingSat platform.
We’re already counting down the days until next year’s event, can’t wait to see you all there!