There are many integrators who often branch out from the traditional commercial install and dip their toes into the cruise ship market. Those feeling truly ambitious, however, may want to take a look at aviation, as a study from Juniper Research has found that in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems are set to be a very lucrative business by 2023.
Both commercial airlines and private aircraft owners are increasingly turning to swanky in-flight entertainment systems, while Wi-Fi installation has also been a catalyst for growth. Service revenues are expected to reach $3.7 billion in 2018, although that will more than double by 2023 to $8.4 billion.
While private aircraft owners may have deep pockets for the high-end systems, the main growth is supposedly coming from Low Cost Carriers. Airlines such as easyJet are supposedly looking at changing the passenger experience. These airlines are usually bare bones, lacking both Wi-Fi and in-flight entertainment systems, but with increased competition, the airlines need to win customers.
In-flight entertainment systems are changing, however. While most people will have the image of seatback screen in their head, that might not be the option easyJet opts for. Instead, the airline may join one of the many others adopting wireless streaming to passenger devices. 23% of commercial aircraft in West Europe are already utilising the technology, with it set to rise to 31% by 2023.
Juniper foresees that the greater cost efficiency of these systems, compared with seatback systems, will enable the increased Low Cost Carrier deployment. Offering entertainment services in the budget segment removes a crucial differentiator for more traditional airlines, meaning that these airlines need to innovate in order to maintain success. Juniper recommended that one area in which they can do this is to offer free, high quality passenger Wi-Fi.
Connected Aircraft To Grow 118%, Driving Satellite Investment
With connectivity becoming a standard aircraft feature, Juniper predicted that the number of connected aircraft will grow by 118% between 2018 and 2023, with over 34,000 commercial and business aircraft outfitted by 2023.
Improved aircraft connectivity will be leveraged to gain service efficiency owing to predictive, more efficient maintenance, with IoT sensors utilised to reduce manual maintenance tasks and improve aircraft safety; allowing improved margins for airlines.
Research author Nick Maynard added: “Operational use cases and the significance of the IoT is driving innovation in the satellite sector. Increased demand can be used by satellite operators to justify high capital expenditure required to build new systems, such as HTS (High Throughput Satellites) and S band services.”