Commercial aircraft adopting in-flight Wi-Fi services will reach 14,419 globally by 2022, up from an estimated 5,243 in 2017, according to a new paper from Juniper Research.
This will mean that over half of the global fleet will offer such services in 2022, compared with just under a quarter now.
This increase will primarily be driven by the impact of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend, despite increased security concerns from several governments, primarily the US, which has given rise to the so-called ‘laptop ban’.
In-flight entertainment revenues to rise
The new research, In-Flight Entertainment & Wi-Fi Connectivity: Technologies, Business Models and Key Players 2017-2022, finds that in-flight wireless streaming is increasingly being offered as an IFE (in-flight entertainment) option, based on a lower installation cost and weight savings versus seatback systems.
With many vendors offering combined wireless streaming and Wi-Fi connectivity services, Juniper predicts that wireless streaming will replace seatback in-flight entertainment on most short haul flights, with seatback IFE being increasingly reserved for longer flights with premium carriers.
With BYOD, and thus consumer take-up encouraged by wireless services, monthly in-flight entertainment revenues are forecast to rise by 30% on average per aircraft over the forecast period.
Aircraft tracking: Driving connectivity
In light of the Malaysian Airlines MH370 disaster, Juniper Research finds that flight tracking is increasingly coming to the fore of operational offerings from vendors, in line with regulatory pressures to adopt tracking systems. The research highlights additional benefits to tracking, such as improved punctuality leading to increased revenues. Juniper anticipates that these systems will therefore become standard equipment.