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Broadband In The Sky

Burnley, UK, Monday, 06 June, 2016

What’s the most frustrating thing about any flight that you have been on?  For many people it’s the sheer boredom of being stuck on a plane for hours on end with little in the way of entertainment.  What would they like? They’d like broadband in the sky.

A survey of more than 9,000 air passengers in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, conducted by Inmarsat and GfK has revealed that 92 per cent of those surveyed would like to be able to connect whilst in flight.

In-flight services

Of those surveyed, the majority would prefer in-flight connectivity to any other service.  The participants were asked to choose one service that they would like to have above all others, including in-flight meals and traditional entertainment systems, such as in-flight movies (including premium content) and 54 per cent of them chose WiFi above all other services.

Choosing an airline with broadband

A massive 83 per cent of those surveyed said that they would choose an airline based on the availability of in-flight WiFi and 67 per cent said that they would be willing to pay more for a flight that included connectivity in the air. When you think about the popularity of streaming services, especially for keeping children entertained on a flight, you can see why.

The future of in-flight broadband

Broadband has transformed the way that we work and live and our demand for ubiquitous connectivity is at a peak. It seems that we really don’t won’t to be off-the-grid, ever; not-spots are a no-no. We also want a reliable service and this is placing a huge demand on airlines as they plan to meet that demand. 

Of the passengers surveyed, 78 per cent expect in-flight connectivity to replace traditional forms of entertainment by 2026. Responding to this, Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation said that, 

“Demand for broadband in the sky has reached such unprecedented levels around the world that airlines, as well as those in the business aviation and aircraft lessor markets need to meet passenger expectations or risk losing out to their competitors.” So, broadband in the sky looks like the future on in-flight entertainment, and one that (for now at least) people are willing to pay that little extra to access those airlines that offer in-flight WiFi.


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