PARIS — Koreas’s KT Sat is targeting maritime VSAT as a major market opportunity in East Asia and on Aug. 30 secured a foothold with Hun’s Corp., which will be KT Sat’s maritime services distributor in Japan.
KT Sat said it will attempt to unseat Japanese telco KDDI and several well-established satellite maritime service providers by offering lower prices. The company is targeting annual revenue of $27 million from 300 ships in 2021.
Service on an undisclosed number of Hun’s Corp. ships — the company’s fleet is more than 900 vessels — will start in September, KT Sat said.
KT Sat operates four satellites in geostationary orbit, including the Koreasat-8, which is more widely known as ABS-2 and is co-owned with fleet operator ABS of Hong Kong and Bermuda.
KT Sat’s current maritime satellite communications business is focused in South Korea, which is less than half the size of the Japanese market of more than 4,000 vessels.
Koreasat 5 currently provides most of KT Sat’s maritime services in addition to capacity leased on satellites owned by third parties. The Koreasat-5A satellite, under construction by Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, is scheduled for launch late this year by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It will be stationed at 113 degrees east, where Koreasat 5 is now, and will have a dedicated maritime beam.
KT Sat Chief Executive Won-sic Hahn said Japan is only the start. The Hun’s contract, he said, “expands the market of KT Sat, which was limited in Korea. Now KT Sat has entered the global MVSAT [maritime VSAT] market. This partnership is a stepping stone for KT Sat’s penetration of maritime VSAT markets around the world — in countries with successful maritime logistics industries such as Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong. We will lead the global MVSAT business.”