Research says inflight connectivity to generate $37bn in 10 yrs.

Passenger using a laptop on board an aircraft
A passenger using a laptop in flight. Image: Emirates.

A new report from Northern Sky Research says inflight connectivity (IFC) will generate $37 billion in cumulative revenues by 2027.

It says this revenue is driven primarily by new high-throughput satellite (HTS) services and greater penetration in all regions of the world.

NSR predicts demand will reach almost 295 Gbps of HTS capacity and more than 92 transponders of Fixed Satellite Service (FSS) Ku-band demand by 2027.

It adds the battle for customers is well under way, shifting to a more practical terrain where passenger experience and business models are essential.

Claude Rousseau, NSR Research Director and report author, said: “Many airlines are still unsure of what they receive when they install IFC on their planes.

“They aim to know exactly what passengers receive and not just what the network can deliver.

“To get there, service providers, who are still not profiting from the IFC boom, will need a multitude of tools and value-added services to improve delivery and address huge demand for IFC for the coming decade.”

NSR estimates only one-quarter of all IATA-registered airlines had some type of passenger IFC under contract at the end of 2017.

HTS capacity deals signed in the last three years are starting to roll-out across fleets of both wide-body and narrow-body aircraft. However, a slower than expected pace of installs delayed revenue generation as margins suffer in the face of lower capacity prices and airlines wanting in on ‘sharing the savings’.

As such, NSR expects 2018 to see a near-doubling of revenues and 50% more aircraft with inflight connectivity capabilities.

Over the next decade, overall aero satcom markets will still be led by Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) L-band units, which are taking a turn for the better with more demand for safety services and increased supply from both LEO and GEO satellites entering service.

NSR’s says the report, “Aeronautical Satcom Markets, 6th Edition” is built on the longest-running, most in-depth analysis and forecasts of aeronautical satellite and air-to-ground connectivity markets for commercial aircraft.

For more details see: Northern Sky Research

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