In-flight connectivity is expected to generate US$37 billion by the end of 2027 according to the latest forecast by Northern Sky Research, with IFC revenues expected to grow by more than 40% this year alone.

However, quality of service and measuring the passenger experience could stymie the development of the market, according to the 6th Edition of NSR’s Aeronautical Satcom Markets. NSR is also forecasting $3.8 billion in annual retail revenues from commercial passenger markets by the end of the next decade

As a result, NSR expects airlines to take more of the control over the customer-facing environment and dictate terms for smarter suites of services.

“More airlines are deploying IFC with an eye on measuring deeper down the transmission chain to ascertain value of service to passengers with a set of very refined and key performance indicators,” stated Claude Rousseau, NSR Research director and report author. “Furthermore, IFC is becoming an enabler for what is often identified as the smart plane, but in reality is a more holistic approach to connectivity across fleets for different types of service for various classes of end-users.”

According to NSR, with service providers struggling to find the right balance between services and profits, the need for more consolidation in a market too crowded today is more evident than ever. Install rates are also lagging while the industry searches for the right business model. Additionally, a gap still exists to catch up with issues ranging from quality, speed, affordability, ease of connection across fleets for both passengers and crew, Wi-Fi pricing strategies, all the way to providing more IFC in loyalty programs.

Written by: Alexander Preston

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