Stable And Sustained Growth

Kieran Clark, Lead Analyst at SubTel Forum.By Kieran Clark, SubTel Forum
March 19, 2018

Coming off one of the strongest years the industry has ever had, 2018 looks to continue the trend. With cash-rich Over-The-Top (OTT) providers continuing to fund an increasing number of systems and the demand for international data continuing to reach new heights, there seems to be little signs of slowing down. Trends have changed little from last year, and securing financing continues to get easier as the market continues to grow at a rapid pace.

It has been a full year since our last look at the financial situation of planned systems around the world. New systems have been announced and planned systems have gone into service, while others have been delayed or changed. Quite a lot can happen in one year, and this year was no different.

Since our last Finance and Legal issue, we observed that of the 27 planned systems announced to be ready for service in 2017, only 15 were accomplished. However, this is a large step up from 2016, which saw only 6 systems move from planning to reality. Several of the remaining systems were delayed to 2018 for various reasons, while the remainder of systems scheduled to be ready for service in 2017 simply died outright. Combined with a net addition of 3 systems announced for the future compared to a year ago, this shows signs of a relatively healthy market. In total, 53 systems are currently planned through 2021 – with 22 systems planned for 2018 alone.

Continuing the comparison to last year’s numbers, the way systems are being financed sustains a shift towards single owners. This trend was first observed in 2015 and has since continued to move in this direction. Over the next several years, only 32 percent of systems will be owned by a consortium, with the remaining 68 percent having a single owner. While consortium ownership reduces the financial risk to any single owner should a cable system fail, single ownership provides potentially greater flexibility and speed to the cable development process.

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 99 of the SubTel Forum magazine here on page 10.