Oct 05 2015

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If only…

Demand For In-Flight Broadband Is Sky High, According To New Inmarsat Survey:

  • 80 percent of those surveyed would use in-flight Wi-Fi if given the opportunity
  • 67 percent of passenger users across all age groups would be willing to pay for the service, rising to 69 percent of 18 to 44 year olds
  • More than four out of five see a future where Internet connectivity is available on all aircraft
  • 67 percent of passengers would feel more valued by an airline that offers in-flight connectivity, and 69 percent would choose a carrier which provides the service

The survey was conducted during August and September 2015, with responses from more than 6,000 passengers who had taken a European flight in the past year and had carried at least one personal device (smartphone, tablet or laptop) with them onboard the aircraft.

Of course, Inmarsat sponsored the survey, and it magically reveals a need that Inmarsat could fill (always check data for bias), but who doesn’t want to see airlines provide broadband? In most cases, though, broadband could be provided by cell phone towers with just a tweak in G3/G4 implementation. Inmarsat (or other SATCOM) would definitely provide this need over large bodies of water or over parts of the world where cell phone connectivity was spotty.

Here was the most interesting part of the survey, though:

The demand for in-flight connectivity was also shown to impact airline choice, and can be a differentiator for carriers which offer the service; making them a more attractive airline for passengers. 69 percent of those surveyed would choose to fly with an airline that provides on-board connectivity, while 67 percent would feel more valued by a carrier that makes the service available.

Becoming a key differentiator likely means we’ll see a broadband services war among the airlines before too long.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/05/if-only/

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