In-Flight Wi-Fi Revenues to Surpass $1.5 Billion in 2015

Over the past year there has been significant growth in both the usage rates of in-flight broadband and number of planes deployed. With new providers now entering the market, growth is sure to continue in the coming year. Additionally, what has been a US-centric market began to see an expansion of borders with deployments in Europe growing over the past year and new activity in the Middle East.New In-Stat ( research, forecasts that in-flight Wi-Fi revenues will surpass the $1.5 billion mark in 2015.

“While airlines initially viewed in-flight broadband as a competitive differentiator, it is now simply viewed in the US market as a competitive requirement,” says Amy Cravens, Senior Analyst. “The future of in-flight Wi-Fi will be less about convincing airlines of the merit and more about leveraging the network to provide a broader breadth of services.  As in the hotspot market, Wi-Fi access is likely to become a commodity in the in-flight market, with the revenue opportunity resting on the services and features, not the connection.”

Some of the research findings include:

  • Take rates have increased significantly, moving from an average of 4% in 2010 up to 7% in 2011.

  • While in international markets in-flight broadband is just entering the competitive differentiator stage, In-Stat believes it will rapidly transition to a competitive requirement in these markets as it did in the US.

  • Combined, smartphones and tablets are now the predominant devices, in terms of percent of connects.

  • In-flight broadband providers are beginning to introduce new revenue opportunities, including additional passenger services (video and voice) and operational services.

This Market Alert is drawn from the In-Stat research,  From Pipe to Platform: Worldwide In-Flight Broadband Providers Redefine Strategy (#IN1105003WS), which examines the market for next-generation in-flight entertainment (IFE), with a focus on in-flight broadband services. For the purpose of this report, next-generation IFE services are segmented by access technology (GSM, satellite, air-to-ground) as well as application (voice, video, and data). This report is global in scope and emphasizes:

  • Market potential usage
  • Examination of different service provider business models
  • Competitive analysis for the in-flight broadband market
  • Profiles of In-Flight broadband providers including: Aircell's Gogo, OnAir, Panasonic, and Row 44

This research is part of In-Stat's Wi-Fi Markets service, which provides analysis of the market for Wi Fi enabled equipment and attach rates in PCs, peripherals, consumer electronics, communications, and industrial applications, as well as services such as hotspots and in-flight broadband.

Related In-Stat research:

Wi-Fi Hotspots: The Mobile Operator's 3G Offload Alternative

Mobile Hotspots: Heating Up and Driving Mobile Data Growth

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