Impact Analysis of Covid-19
The complete version of the Report will include the impact of the COVID-19, and anticipated change on the future outlook of the industry, by taking into the account the political, economic, social, and technological parameters.
Wi-Fi is the family of wireless networking technologies that are commonly used for local area networking of devices and internet access. Wi-Fi technology enables wireless connectivity on radio frequencies between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Wi-Fi technology is being increasingly deployed in enterprises, transportation sector, etc. and replacing wired LAN at a rapid pace. There are different types of Wi-Fi including indoor Wi-Fi, outdoor Wi-Fi, and transportation Wi-Fi. Furthermore, Wi-Fi has been incorporated in aviation to provide in-flight entertainment to aircraft passengers during a flight.
The global in-flight Wi-Fi market is estimated to account for US$ 14,314.1 Mn in terms of value by the end of 2027 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.15% during the forecasted period 2020-27.
Market Dynamics- Drivers
- Advancements in technology are expected to drive growth of the global in-flight Wi-Fi market during the forecast period
Technological development in networking technologies is supporting key players to introduce novel technologies and devices that can be deployed on flights. This is done to enhance the connectivity speed and bandwidth capacity even on mid-haul and short-haul routes. For instance, in 2014, Gogo introduced 2Ku technology, a satellite-based connectivity technology, in order to enhance its product offers for airlines in the commercial aviation market. 2Ku technology delivers high bandwidth speed of 70 Mbps. Hence, these factors are expected to drive growth of the global in-flight Wi-Fi market in the near future.
- Increasing focus of airlines to augment passenger experience is expected to propel the global in-flight Wi-Fi market growth over the forecast period
Major airlines across the globe equipping aircraft with cost-effective high-speed Wi-Fi systems. These systems are based on advanced technologies that offer uninterrupted internet services to passengers, which in turn, improves passenger experience and satisfaction. Moreover, major airlines are laying emphasis on deploying advanced connectivity technologies on flights, in order to gain a competitive edge in the market. Thus, these factors are expected to propel the global in-flight Wi-Fi market growth over the forecast period. For instance, in October 2014, United Airlines selected Gogo Inc. to provide in-flight Wi-Fi services on United’s two-cabin regional jet fleet, allowing passengers to watch television shows and movies at high Internet speed.
North America held dominant position in the global in-flight Wi-Fi market in 2019, accounting for 55.0% share in terms of value, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific, respectively
Figure 1: Global In-Flight Wi-Fi Market Share (%), in terms of Value, By Region, 2019
Market Dynamics- Restraints
- Security threat and challenges regarding data privacy are expected to restrain growth of the global in-flight Wi-Fi market during the forecast period
Data security and system security threats have increased significantly in the recent past with technological advancements in the communication technology ecosystem. Some of the in-flight Wi-Fi applications carry sensitive information about customers, such as their e-payment transactions, movement, and location. These applications are vulnerable to hacking. In case of connectivity issues or system failure, third party services are called in to troubleshoot and recover data. This can pose a risk threat to data privacy and security. Thus, these factors are expected to restrain growth of the global in-flight Wi-Fi market in the near future.
- Low awareness in emerging economies is expected to hinder the global in-flight Wi-Fi market growth over the forecast period
Budget-airlines in emerging regions are less inclined towards providing value-added services such as in-flight Wi-Fi. This is due to the fact that majority of consumers in these regions are highly price-sensitive. This, in turn, is expected to hinder the global in-flight Wi-Fi market growth over the forecast period.
- Constant merger and acquisition activities can present major business opportunities
Key companies in the market are focused on merger and acquisition activities, in order to enhance product portfolio and strengthen market presence. For instance, in September 2015, Honeywell International Inc. acquired Aviaso, in order to broaden its aerospace service portfolio and enhance presence in the Europe in-flight Wi-Fi market. Furthermore, in 2014, Thales Group acquired LiveTV in order to strengthen its In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) products and services portfolio.
- Growing consumer inclination towards high bandwidth applications can provide growth opportunities
Airline passengers in developed regions are increasingly inclined towards high-bandwidth applications such as streaming HD videos and live broadcasts. As a result of this, Wi-Fi service providers are offering high-speed connectivity services with enhanced bandwidth capacity. For instance, in 2013, Gogo introduced ground to orbit, a hybrid connectivity technology utilizing both air-to-ground and satellite connectivity, in order to enhance bandwidth capacity up to 60 Mbps.
Figure 2: Global In-Flight Wi-Fi Market Value (US$ Mn), 2017 - 2027
The global in-flight Wi-Fi market was valued at US$ 4,106.2 Mn in 2019 and is forecast to reach a value of US$ 14,314.1 Mn by 2027 at a CAGR of 17.1% between 2020 and 2027.
- Advent of air-to-ground technology is a major trend
Air-to-ground is rapidly gaining popularity, especially in emerging regions such as Latin America and Asia Pacific. This is owing to low cost and high coverage as compared to satellite technology. Furthermore, major players in the market focused on introducing advanced air-to-ground technology to target domestic flights flying within developed regions. For instance, in September 2015, Alcatel-Lucent partnered with Deutsche Telekom, a Germany-based company, to deploy an LTE-based ground network across Europe in order to offer faster connectivity services for flights operating within the region.
- Rising trend of video streaming services
The demand for video streaming or in-flight entertainment services is rapidly increasing, especially from passengers traveling on long-duration flights. Furthermore, airlines are focused on introducing mobile apps that enable passengers to avail on-demand video services via mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market. For instance, in August 2014, Air Transat, a Canada-based airline company, introduced CinePlus, a mobile app that allows users to avail on-demand in-flight entertainment services.
- In June 2015, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) paved way for growth of in-flight Wi-Fi services providers in the country by permitting domestic airlines such as China Eastern Airlines to introduce Wi-Fi services in their aircraft
- In April 2014, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), a governmental regulatory body for civil aviation in India, allowed usage of portable electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops on flight mode during all phases of flight
Key players operating in the global in-flight Wi-Fi market are Gogo Inc., EchoStar Corporation, Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., Kymeta Corporation, ViaSat Inc., Thinkom Solutions Inc., Thales Group, Honeywell International Inc., SITA, and Panasonic Corporation.
- Major companies in the market are focused on contracts and agreements, in order to enhance the market presence. For instance, in November 2019, Gogo Inc. entered into a contract with Qatar Airways to install Gogo 2Ku high-speed inflight connectivity solutions and live TV.
- Key players in the market are involved in product launches, in order to gain competitive edge in the market. For instance, in April 2019, Hughes Network Systems, LLC, a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation, introduced HughesNet, a high-speed satellite internet service for consumers.