Wi-Fi in planes to rocket


In-flight Wi-Fi to be offered on over half of commercial aircraft by 2022

A new report has forecast that commercial aircraft adopting in-flight Wi-Fi services will reach 14,419 globally by 2022, up from an estimated 5,243 in 2017. This will mean that over half of the global fleet will offer such services in 2022, compared with just under a quarter this year, according to Juniper Research.

This increase will primarily be driven by the impact of the bring your own device (BYOD) trend, despite increased security concerns from several governments, primarily the US, which has given rise to the so-called ‘laptop ban’.

The new research found that in-flight wireless streaming is increasingly being offered as an in-flight entertainment option, based on a lower installation cost and weight savings versus seatback systems.

Indeed, with many vendors offering combined wireless streaming and Wi-Fi connectivity services, Juniper predicted 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.

In light of the Malaysian Airlines MH370 disaster, flight tracking is increasingly coming to the fore of operational offerings from vendors, in line with regulatory pressures to adopt tracking systems. The research highlighted additional benefits to tracking, such as improved punctuality leading to increased revenues. Juniper anticipates that these systems will therefore become standard equipment.


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