In-flight Wi-Fi boom to ensure 3-fold growth for connected aircrafts

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The number of connected commercial aircraft will grow 3-fold to 10,400 by 2020 from an estimated 3,200 this year – fuelled by in-flight Wi-Fi, said Juniper Research.

The dip in costs of standalone in-flight Wi-Fi hardware, which will be offered as line-fit equipment by major aircraft manufacturers, will for the first time make connected IFE attractive to low-cost airlines flying short-haul routes.

Many budget airlines are adopting the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) approach rather than using embedded seatback screens, allowing passengers to use their own devices on-board the aircraft to stream airline owned content, reducing IFE hardware costs and weight.

This BYOD trend raises safety and security issues for both airlines and passengers. “Airlines must ensure that they address all types of risks, including that of a rogue passenger hacking into an aircraft’s avionic systems or servers, with potentially disastrous consequences,” said research author Gareth Owen at Juniper Research.

In-flight Wi-Fi boom

Meanwhile, Persistence Market Research said the in-flight Wi-Fi market is set to expand at 14.9 percent CAGR during 2015 – 2021.

Hardware was the dominant segment in 2014, with over 60 percent share of the global in-flight Wi-Fi market. The segment is expected to witness a decline of over 2,500 BPS in market share by the end of 2021 as compared to that in 2014.

North America has dominated the in-flight Wi-Fi market, accounting for over 60 percent share of the overall market in 2014. Asia Pacific market is expected to exhibit highest CAGR of over 26 percent during the projected period, said Persistence Market Research.

Juniper Research said service providers are positioning themselves as end-to-end providers to offer connectivity, content and hardware offerings to their airline customers.

The availability of Air-To-Ground (ATG) such as Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network will result in lower cost connectivity and higher capacity over high traffic density regions such as Europe. High Throughput Satellites will result in reduced satellite segment costs and increased capacity on a more global basis.

Image source: DailyMail UK

Baburajan K
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