Global In-flight Wi-Fi Market Propelled by Rising Demand for In-flight Internet Connectivity

Published On : Feb 23, 2016

In-flight Wi-Fi refers to the hardware and connectivity tools required to provide Wi-Fi services aboard aircraft. Wi-Fi has emerged as the preferred medium of internet access in recent years due to the high bandwidth it provides and the ability to use it without the hassles of wiring. On flights, the availability of telecommunication technologies has to be restricted, since the usage of these technologies can interfere with the radio frequency at which the aircraft’s communication operates. However, the demand for in-flight Wi-fi has grown rapidly in the last few years, leading to steady growth of the global in-flight Wi-Fi market.


According to market research released by Persistence Market Research, the global in-flight Wi-Fi market was worth US$2.1 bn in 2014. It is projected to exhibit a robust 14.9% CAGR from 2015 to 2021.


Rising Demand for In-flight Internet Connectivity Propelling In-flight Wi-Fi Market


The global in-flight Wi-Fi market is rising primarily due to escalating consumer demand for the same. Opposing strict aviation regulations banning the use of electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops in aircraft, airline passengers have become vocal in their demand for in-flight Wi-Fi in recent years, forcing aviation authorities and airlines to accede to the popular demand. These days, the availability of in-flight Wi-Fi is fast becoming a crucial selling point for airlines, ensuring steady growth of the global in-flight Wi-Fi market over the coming years.


Hike in Airline Expenses due to In-flight Wi-Fi Systems Restrains Global Market


In spite of the rising demand for in-flight internet access, there are some valid concerns against it. Usage of in-flight telecommunications can, as mentioned before, hamper the communications and location systems of aircraft, which can have obvious and disastrous consequences. The weight of the equipment needed to supply Wi-Fi throughout the aircraft is also a considerable aspect to take into account. Thus, not only do in-flight Wi-Fi systems have to be technically advanced so that they can be utilized without hampering the aircraft’s electronics, but they also increase the fuel required for each flight owing to their extra weight, and also result in a significant one-time expense for airlines.


Wi-Fi Hardware Segment Leads Global In-flight Wi-Fi Market


Wi-Fi hardware dominated the demand from the global in-flight Wi-Fi market in 2014, comprehensively overshadowing the services segment with a 60% share in the global market. The dominance of the hardware segment in the market’s global revenue is expected to remain consistent through the forecast period, due to the technological innovation needed to develop advanced in-flight Wi-Fi devices and the consequently higher prices of the same in comparison to in-flight Wi-Fi services.


Satellite-sourced Wi-Fi to Rise in Demand


Satellites are expected to become the dominant providers of in-flight Wi-Fi in the coming years. Currently, the global in-flight Wi-Fi market is dominated by the air-to-ground technology segment. However, the various benefits provided by satellites are expected to propel the demand for the latter in the global in-flight Wi-Fi market in the coming years.


Asia Pacific Market for In-Flight Wi-Fi to Exhibit Highest CAGR


The global in-flight Wi-Fi market is currently dominated by the North America market, which emerged as the dominant regional segment in 2014 due to the ease of incorporating innovative technology in the region’s advanced technological scenario. However, the Asia Pacific market for in-flight Wi-Fi is expected to exhibit a whopping 25% CAGR from 2015 to 2021. The dynamic expansion of the Asia Pacific in-flight Wi-Fi market will be fueled by the rising demand for air travel from the region’s increasingly prosperous consumers.


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