Major global low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite operators are actively engaging with relevant businesses in Taiwan’s supply chain. While Taiwan possesses subcontractors with the relevant capabilities, especially in the LEO satellite supply chain for ground equipment, the recent visits by multiple satellite operators indicate a primary objective of exploring collaborations with the Taiwanese government.
The vulnerability of ground network infrastructure has been highlighted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The destruction of Ukrainian ground network facilities led to communication disruptions. To enhance digital resilience, Taiwan’s Ministry of Digital Affairs (MODA) has launched the “Enhancing Digital Resilience Verification Project for Communication Networks in Emergency or Wartime Application of Emerging Technologies.”
The MODA aims to establish 700 non-synchronous orbit satellite terminal equipment hotspots, 70 satellite backhaul sites, and 3 international non-synchronous orbit satellite terminal equipment hotspots by the end of 2024. Current participants in the project include veteran LEO satellite operator SES and Eutelsat OneWeb, with another operator in talks to participate.
It is highly likely that Amazon’s satellite service, Project Kuiper, is rapidly advancing. Additionally, Canadian satellite operator Telesat may also be involved in the project. MODA officials emphasize a preference for diverse choices to ensure robust communication during emergencies.
These collaborations provide additional revenue for satellite operators and offer the opportunity to expand their business territories. Taiwan’s digital resilience verification project also allows operators to validate their abilities to collaborate with other satellite systems.
For those in the low Earth orbit satellite supply chain or already functioning as satellite suppliers, the visits of satellite operators to Taiwan present a valuable opportunity to strengthen collaboration. The active launching and expansion of satellite operators increase the likelihood of securing additional orders.