The in-flight Wi-Fi market has emerged to offer customers the same benefits of broadband connectivity that they enjoy on the ground. While the market has been in development for over a decade, in-flight Wi-Fi has only recently taken off. Deployments of Wi-Fi onboard airplanes have gained strength over the last few years, with availability reaching critical mass on some airlines.
New In-Stat research, forecasts that in-flight Wi-Fi broadband deployments will surpass 6,100 planes worldwide in 2015. "The installed base of Wi-Fi-enabled devices has increased enormously over the past decade," says Amy Cravens, Senior Analyst. "With more people carrying Wi-Fi-enabled devices, the potential addressable market has increased multi-fold."
"Additionally, the variety of Wi-Fi-enabled devices has also changed considerably, which will significantly alter the usage of in-flight broadband. More passengers are boarding planes with Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones and tablets, as well as laptops, which are able to utilize the service."
In-flight Wi-Fi service revenues are expected to surpass $1.5 billion in 2015. Take rates have increased significantly, moving from an average of 4% in 2010 up to 7% in 2011. In-flight broadband providers are beginning to introduce new revenue opportunities, including additional passenger services (video and voice) and operational services.
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This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.