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Delayed Departure: Will In-Flight Broadband Take Off? Product Image

Delayed Departure: Will In-Flight Broadband Take Off?

  • Published: April 2009
  • 53 Pages
  • In-Stat/MDR


  • Aircell
  • American
  • Delta
  • OnAir
  • Panasonic
  • Row44
  • MORE

In-flight broadband, since the days of Connexion by Boeing, has struggled to take off. Recently, the market has received new impetus, with a new generation of in-flight broadband providers, including Aircell, Row44, and Panasonic. While these providers have encountered barriers in introducing in-flight broadband over the past year, it appears that many of these have been overcome and now these providers are ready to begin large scale deployments. Several US airlines have committed to full fleet deployments, including American, Delta, and Southwest. While the economy continues to place pressure on the market, airlines appear to be planning beyond the current environment in making investments for in-flight communication technologies, such as in-flight broadband. This service will also have to compete with other emerging in-flight entertainment and communication services, such as DBS video offerings and GSM-based voice and data services (in international markets).

This report includes:

-Forecasts of broadband and DBS video, including installments, equipment revenues, usage, and usage revenues, with segmentation regarding the length of the flights.
-Expectations of in-flight READ MORE >

Executive Summary
Market Assessment
- Market Structure
- Growth Enablers and Opportunities
- Growth Inhibitors and Threats
- In-Flight Entertainment being Redefined
Countdown to In-Flight Broadband
- Groundwork Laid for In-Flight Communications
- Connexion: And So It Began
- From then to Now: Current In-Flight Broadband Initiatives
Why Now: Market Changes Since Connexion
- Technology
-- Cost Is a Four Letter Word
- Passenger
In-Flight Broadband Providers
- Panasonic
- Row44
Airline Perspective
- Delta
- Southwest
- American
- Royal Jordanian
Competitive Landscape
- Market Assessment
- Emerging Competitors
-- OnAir
-- ViaSat
- Mobile Operators
Leveraging the Network
- Content
- Voice
- Video
- Operations
- Connectivity to the Plane
-- Air-to-Ground Network
-- Satellite
-- Pros and Cons
- Passenger Access
Regulatory Environment
Targeting the Audience
- Branding
- Pricing
- Devices
- Roaming
- User Type
Lessons to be Learned From the Hotspot
Point of Sale vs. Wholesale: The Business Models Forecast
In-Flight Broadband
- Installed Base of Broadband-Enabled Planes
- In-Flight Broadband Installation Revenues
- In-Flight Broadband Usage
- In-Flight Broadband Service Revenues
-- Laptop versus Handheld Usage
-- Installed Base of DBS-Enabled Planes
-- In-Flight DBS Installation Revenues
-- In-Flight Video Service Revenues
Related Reports

List of Tables

Table 1. In-Flight Broadband and Broadcast Television User Revenues (US$ in Millions), 2008–2013
Table 2. Comparison: Connexion vs. Now
Table 3. Cost Savings to Airlines: Connexion versus Now
Table 4. Delays in Row44 International Expansion
Table 5. Comparative Analysis: Row44 and Aircell
Table 6. ATG VS Satellite: Pros and Cons
Table 7. Embedded Wi-Fi Chipset Units in Mobile PCs by Category (Units in Thousands),2008–2013
Table 8. Portable CE Wi-Fi Chipset Unit Shipments per Market Segment (Units in Thousands), 2008–2013
Table 9. Mobile Handsets with Embedded Wi-Fi (Units in Thousands), 2008–2013
Table 10. Worldwide In-Flight Broadband-Enabled Airplanes, 2008–2013
Table 11. Worldwide In-Flight Broadband Connects (in Millions), 2008–2013
Table 12. Worldwide In-Flight Broadband Usage Revenues (US$ in Millions), 2008–2013
Table 13. Worldwide DBS-Enabled Airplanes, 2008–2013
Table 14. Worldwide DBS Installation Revenues (US$ in Millions), 2008–2013
Table 15. Worldwide DBS Usage Revenues (US$ in Millions), 2008–2013

List of Figures

Figure 1. In-Flight Broadband Market Structure
Figure 2. Impetus to New Breed In-Flight Broadband
Figure 3. In-Flight Broadband Timeline: Connexion to Now
Figure 4. Air-to-Ground Network Schematic
Figure 5. Satellite Network Schematic
Figure 6. AeroSat Radome Unit
Figure 7. Worldwide In-Flight Broadband-Enabled Airplanes and Annual Installations, 2008–2013
Figure 8. In-Flight Broadband Equipment Revenues (US$ in Millions) and Cost per Install (US$ in Thousands), 2008–2013
Figure 9. Worldwide In-Flight Broadband Connects (in Millions), 2008–2013
Figure 10. Worldwide In-Flight Broadband Usage Revenues (US$ in Millions), 2008–2013
Figure 11. Handhelds as a Percent of Total Connects: Long- vs. Short-Haul, 2008–2013
Figure 12. Handheld Revenues (US$ in Millions) and Percent of Total Revenues, 2008–2013
Figure 13. DBS Planes Installed (US$ in Millions) and Passenger Revenues (US$ in Thousands), 2008–2013

Direct Video Broadcast Competes with In-Flight Broadband for Airline Passenger Entertainment Dollars

Live broadcast video is also poised for significant growth in 2009, according to this latest report. While this service is more established than in-flight broadband, usage revenues are still anticipated to nearly double in 2009 to reach almost a quarter of a billion dollars, nearly five times the size of the in-flight broadband market.

However, the compelling demand for Wi-Fi connectivity among airline passengers drives higher growth for in-flight broadband. By 2011, in-flight broadband service revenue will exceed that of direct video broadcast, with in-flight broadband revenues of $761 million.

“The airline industry is desperately trying to better monetize its cabins,” according to Frank Dickson, In-Stat Vice President of Research. “Direct video broadcast services and in-flight broadband services are two compelling ways that provide passengers with a better customer experience while allowing the airline industry to add incremental revenue. It is a true win/win.”

Recent research found the following:

- The majority of direct video broadcast deployments belong to LiveTV, with Panasonic being their largest competitor.
- The author expects that, in later forecast years, IPTV will contribute a portion of in-flight video revenues.
- The number of broadband enabled airplanes will increase from 25 in 2008 to 800 in 2009.
- Airline passengers will generate over $47 million worldwide in 2009. In-flight broadband equipment revenue will nearly double between 2009 and 2013.
- The author forecasts over 200 million annual in-flight broadband connects by 2013, with long-haul connects dominating over short-haul connects.
Recent research, Delayed Departure: Will In-Flight Broadband Take Off?, covers the market for next-generation in-flight entertainment (IFE), with a focus on in-flight broadband services. The global report includes:
- Forecasts of in-flight broadband and DBS video, including installments, equipment revenues, usage, and usage revenues, with segmentation regarding the length of the flights.
- Expectations of in-flight IPTV introduction and ensuing revenue.
- Detailed comparisons of principal competitors and customers, in terms of technologies, business models, and market share.
- Correlations with the hotspot market and strategies learned from terrestrial Wi-Fi services that can be applied to the in-flight market.

- Aircell
- American
- Delta
- OnAir
- Panasonic
- Row44
- Royal Jordanian
- Southwest
- ViaSat

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