Business jet inflight connectivity take-up may double in 10 years

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Bizjets on static display
Bizjets on static display.

A new report from UK market intelligence firm, Valour Consultancy, has found that there were 19,131 inflight connectivity (IFC) systems installed on VIP and business aircraft at the end of 2016.

It goes on to predict that this number will almost double over the next 10 years, reaching 37,710 by 2026.

L-band is currently by far and away the most dominant connectivity technology with cumulative connections representing around 75% of the total.

L-band inflight connectivity will continue to remain popular in future, too.

Report author and Valour Consultancy’s Senior Consultant, Craig Foster, explained: “While Inmarsat is seeing a lot of interest from operators looking to upgrade from lower-bandwidth IFC systems to Jet ConneX, the company is also working on increasing the performance of the L-band technology used for SwiftBroadband (SBB).

“Iridium, meanwhile, has just launched the second batch of Iridium NEXT satellites and the Iridium Certus solution is sure to find favour among operators of small- and medium-sized business jets less suited to the fitment of bulky radomes when commercial service begins in 2019”.

Inflight connectivity

Likewise, growth in the adoption of air-to-ground (ATG) inflight connectivity is set to endure. Gogo, which has fitted its systems to more than 4,000 aircraft in North America, is close to commercial launch of Gogo Biz 4G and plans to have its next-generation ATG network up and running by 2018.

Furthermore, entry into service of SmartSky Networks’ 4G network is just around the corner, while the European Aviation Network from Inmarsat, holds plenty of potential for business aviation.

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Adoption of Ku-band technology on VIP and business aircraft appears to have an equally rosy future – a view presumably shared by new market entrants, Panasonic Avionics and Global Eagle, as well as Gogo, which recently announced its first business aviation customer for 2Ku.

However, it is Ka-band that promises to really shake things up according to Foster.

“ViaSat is focused on ensuring existing Ku-band clients migrate to its Ka-band technology and the recent launch of ViaSat-2, and in future, ViaSat-3, will dramatically increase the coverage and capacity on offer,” said Foster.

“For Inmarsat, take up of Jet ConneX has already confounded expectations and the firm, which has a goal of connecting some 3,000 jets by 2020, has already been forced to upwardly revise its own forecasts.”

Published in May 2017, “The Market for In-Flight Connectivity on VIP and Business Aircraft” from Valour Consultancy provides an unrivalled insight and analysis into the current and future deployment of IFC on these aircraft.

The number of IFC systems installed in 2016 is quantified with forecasts out to 2026 and data is segmented by fitment type, aircraft size, frequency band and geographic region with a full qualitative discussion of the key trends at play in support of this.

The report also sizes the market for both service revenues and key enabling hardware, in addition to market share estimates for service providers and capacity providers. A chapter profiling key players is presented, too.

The report costs from £3,000 + VAT for a single user.


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