“We estimate a $400 billion incremental revenue opportunity from providing internet access to under- or unserved parts of the world,” Morgan Stanley’s team said.
Internet bandwidth from satellites is what the firm calls a “second order impact” — a way for internet companies to benefit from the increasing efficiency and decreasing cost of satellites.
“The demand for data is growing at an exponential rate, while the cost of access to space is falling by orders of magnitude,” Morgan Stanley said.
The prediction marks a significant departure from the status quo, where space industry revenues come from the government, ground equipment and consumer television sectors.
The autonomous vehicle industry is “a similar event path” to the space industry, Morgan Stanley said. Self-driving technology moved “from complete obscurity and skepticism to a dominant investor theme,” the firm says.
The analysts caution that “history is littered” with warnings about what to expect from investing in the final frontier.
“It may be different this time, due to the lower costs to access space,” Morgan Stanley added.