WASHINGTON — Three months after the coronavirus pandemic brought large swaths of the global economy to a near halt, Asia-Pacific satellite operators say they are still trying to identify a new normal.
The most immediate impact for communications satellite operators has been a potentially long downturn in air and maritime transportation that’s resulted in a drop in broadband demand from those sectors. Other impacts from a global pandemic that’s decimated some businesses while sparing others are less obvious, however.
“There are opposing forces on the market that we observe,” Christian Patouraux, chief executive of Kacific, said during a June 2 webinar hosted by the Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council.
Demand for broadband internet is “through the roof” as people work from home and spend free time indoors, he said. But some Kacific customers, such as those whose income is dependent on the Asia-Pacific’s tourism industry, are struggling to pay bills, he said.
“They have cash problems, they don’t see the future as being very bright for the next year, the next two years — potentially more — depending on how deep this will affect the economy,” Patouraux said.
Kacific-1, the Singapore-based company’s first satellite, concentrates coverage on ...