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Underwater Communication System Market Size - By Components (Hardware, Software, Services), By Technology (Acoustic Communication, Radio Frequency (RF) Communication, Optical Communication), By Application, By End Use & Forecast, 2024 - 2032

  • Report ID: GMI8684
  • Published Date: Mar 2024
  • Report Format: PDF

Underwater Communication System Market Size

Underwater Communication System Market size was valued at USD 4.8 billion in 2023 and is estimated to register a CAGR of over 9% between 2024 and 2032, attributed to consistent technological upgrades. Advancements in underwater communication technologies, such as acoustic modems, underwater acoustic networks, and underwater wireless sensor networks, are driving market growth. These advancements include improvements in data transmission rates, range, reliability, and power efficiency, making underwater communication systems more capable and suitable for a wider range of applications, thus contributing to market growth.

Underwater Communication System Market

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Against this backdrop, in September 2023, MIT researchers successfully showcased the inaugural ultra-low-power underwater networking and communication system, capable of transmitting signals across kilometer-scale distances. This groundbreaking technique, conceived over several years, consumes approximately one-millionth of the power compared to current underwater communication methods. With an extended communication range, technology becomes increasingly viable for diverse applications, including aquaculture, coastal hurricane prediction, and climate change modeling.

The expansion of offshore energy exploration and production activities, including oil and gas drilling, renewable energy installations (such as offshore wind farms and tidal energy systems), and subsea mining operations, is increasing the demand for underwater communication systems. These systems are crucial for monitoring, controlling, and maintaining underwater infrastructure, as well as to ensure the safety and efficiency of operations in these harsh environments.

To that end, in January 2024, WSense, a provider of underwater monitoring and communication systems, and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to pioneer the next generation of underwater wireless communication systems. Their joint endeavor aims to revolutionize underwater exploration and real-time data collection, fostering a deeper understanding of the world's oceans while preserving marine ecosystems.

Leveraging WSense's wireless underwater communication technology and ASN's network infrastructure, the collaboration seeks to establish underwater telecoms wireless networks. This initiative promises enhanced underwater wireless coverage, enabling real-time remote monitoring, disaster prediction, and early detection, thus bolstering coastal security surveillance and naval operations.

However, developing and deploying underwater communication systems involves significant investment in research, technology development, and specialized equipment. The costs associated with designing robust, reliable, and energy-efficient systems, as well as the expenses related to underwater installations, maintenance, and repair, can be prohibitively high, especially for smaller organizations and research institutions, and may limit industry dynamics in the long run.

Underwater Communication System Market Trends

Emerging trends in underwater communication systems include advancements in acoustic modulation techniques. Researchers and industry players are exploring innovative modulation schemes, such as spread spectrum techniques, adaptive modulation, and advanced coding schemes, to improve data transmission rates, reliability, and energy efficiency in underwater environments.

Quoting an instance, in June 2023, officials at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport in Keyport, Wash., awarded a $16.6 million contract to SyQwest to develop the first Next Gen Gertrude underwater communication device. The NGG is slated to substitute the AN/WQC-2A communications system of the Navy. It will serve new-construction surface ships and undergo backfires for future Constellation-class frigates and Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. The AN/WQC-2A sonar communications pack, currently in use, operates as a general-purpose voice, a single sideband, and a continuous-wave communication set, facilitating underwater communication among surface ships, submarines, and shore stations.

These advancements are crucial for expanding the capabilities of underwater communication systems and enabling more sophisticated applications, including real-time video streaming, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) communication, and underwater sensor networks.

Underwater Communication System Market Analysis

Underwater Communication System Market Size, By Component, 2022-2032 (USD Billion)

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Based on the component, the market is divided into hardware, software, and services. The hardware segment dominated around USD 2 billion in 2023 and is set to exceed USD 5 billion by 2032. The demand for hardware components in the underwater communication system market is primarily propelled by the expanding applications and technological advancements in underwater exploration, surveillance, and resource management.

As industries such as defense, oil & gas, environmental research, and marine biology increasingly rely on underwater communication systems for real-time data transmission and remote monitoring, there is a growing need for high-performance hardware components. Additionally, ongoing developments in acoustic modems, sensors, transducers, and underwater vehicles drive the demand for more sophisticated and reliable hardware solutions to meet the evolving requirements of underwater communication systems.

Underwater Communication System Market Share, By Technology, 2023

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Based on the technology, the market is categorized into acoustic communication, Radio Frequency (RF) communication and optical communication. The Radio Frequency (RF) communication segment held over 45% of the underwater communication system market share in 2023. Underwater acoustic communication technology is gaining traction due to its unique ability to transmit data over long distances in underwater environments where radio and optical signals struggle to propagate effectively.

As industries expand their activities in marine exploration, defense, environmental monitoring, and resource management, there is a growing demand for reliable and efficient communication solutions. Acoustic communication offers a cost-effective method for real-time data transmission, enabling applications such as underwater surveillance, remote monitoring, and autonomous navigation. Moreover, advancements in acoustic modem technology enhance data rates, range, and signal processing capabilities, further driving its adoption across various sectors.

North America Underwater Communication System Market Size, 2022-2032 (USD Billion)

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North America underwater communication system market accounted for 35% of the revenue share in 2023. North America boasts extensive coastlines and maritime territories, leading to significant investments in marine exploration, defense, and resource extraction. This drives demand for advanced underwater communication systems to support activities such as offshore energy production, scientific research, and military operations.

Additionally, the region is home to leading companies and research institutions specializing in underwater technology, fostering innovation and driving market growth. Moreover, supportive government policies, robust infrastructure, and a skilled workforce further contribute to the industry's success in North America.

Underwater Communication System Market Share

L3Harris Technologies, Inc. and Thales Group hold a significant market share of over 15% in the underwater communication system industry. These companies focus on continuous innovation to develop advanced technologies that offer higher data rates, longer transmission ranges, and improved reliability in challenging underwater environments. Strategic partnerships and collaborations with research institutions, government agencies, and industry stakeholders enable access to complementary expertise, resources, and market opportunities.

Besides, these companies prioritize customer-centric approaches, tailoring solutions to meet specific industry needs and providing comprehensive support services. Additionally, expanding global outreach through international sales channels and establishing regional offices or subsidiaries helps penetrate new markets and enhance customer support. This apart, investments in marketing, branding, and thought leadership initiatives reinforce companies' positioning as industry leaders and drive awareness and demand for their products and services.

Underwater Communication System Market Companies

Major companies operating in the underwater communication system industry are:

  • DSPComm
  • EvoLogics GmbH
  • Hydromea SA
  • Kongsberg Discovery
  • L3Harris Technologies, Inc.
  • Oceanserver Technology, Inc.
  • Teledyne Technologies Incorporated.
  • Thales Group
  • Water Linked
  • Wavefront Technologies Inc.

Underwater Communication System Industry News

  • In June 2023, AquaTitans, a recently established specialist provider of manned submersible services, opted for Sonardyne's underwater tracking systems to bolster its underwater vehicle operations. Founded in 2022 by submersibles experts Alan Green and William Arthur and headquartered in Glasgow, AquaTitans will integrate Sonardyne’s Mini-Ranger 2 Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) positioning system into its innovative containerized submersible support solution.
  • In September 2023, SAAB's underwater systems played a pivotal role in facilitating elements of two 'operational experimentation exercises,' engaging more than 2,000 civilian and military personnel hailing from 15 NATO nations, Ireland, and Sweden.

The underwater communication system market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry, with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue (USD Billion) from 2021 to 2032, for the following segments:

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Market, By Component

  • Hardware
    • Transducers
    • Modems
    • Antennas
    • Cables and connectors
    • Others
  • Software
    • Modem control & configuration
    • Signal processing
    • Network management
    • Simulation & testing
    • Others
  • Services

Market, By Technology

  • Acoustic communication
  • Radio Frequency (RF) communication
  • Optical communication

Market, By Application

  • Defense and security
  • Scientific research
  • Hydrography
  • Oceanography
  • Others

Market, By End Use

  • Military and defense
  • Oil & Gas
  • Scientific research institutions
  • Telecommunication companies
  • Maritime transportation
  • Tourism and recreation
  • Others

The above information is provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • UK
    • Germany
    • France
    • Russia
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • ANZ
    • Southeast Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific 
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • MEA
    • UAE
    • South Africa
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Rest of MEA


Authors: Preeti Wadhwani

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The market size of underwater communication system reached USD 4.8 billion in 2023 and is set to witness 9% CAGR from 2024 to 2032, owing to the advancements in technologies, such as acoustic modems, underwater acoustic networks, and underwater wireless sensor networks worldwide.

The hardware segment recorded over USD 2 billion in 2023, due to the expanding technological advancements in underwater exploration, surveillance, and resource management.

North America market held over 35% share in 2023, attributed to the presence of extensive coastlines and maritime territories in the region.

DSPComm, Hydromea SA, Kongsberg Discovery, L3Harris Technologies, Inc., Oceanserver Technology, Inc., Teledyne Technologies Incorporated., Thales Group, Water Linked, and Wavefront Technologies Inc., are some of the major underwater communication system companies worldwide.

Underwater Communication System Market Scope

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2023
  • Companies covered: 20
  • Tables & Figures: 300
  • Countries covered: 22
  • Pages: 260
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