The Big Beam Boom
Although We Are Becoming More Accustomed to Higher Levels of Data Connectivity, a Huge Area Remains Drastically Underconnected: The Airspace and the Oceans
Crisscrossed and cruised by thousands of aircraft and ships every day, these unconnected areas have remained largely uncharted territory for high quality video and data communications until now. It's all about to change. Aeronautical and Maritime connectivity is about to make its quantum leap into the 21st century.
Demand in the skies: Aeronautical
Denser traffic, longer queues and rush hours of people and baggage to board more flights; stacked planes circling above airports already being enlarged and extended, passenger numbers rising substantially every year, massive investments in mega-airports and record orders for new airplanes; a fierce price war and cut-throat competition on services between operators: the air traffic sector is sprouting ever higher and ever faster. Next year, 3.6 billion passengers are expected to fly across countries, continents or oceans. And that number increases every year – by around six percent alone in 2014 and 2015. Boeing and Airbus are both forecasting demand for at least 2,200 new aircraft annually over the next 20 years.
Air travel is now a ubiquitous commodity. To remain competitive, airlines are differentiating themselves through Demand in the skies: Aeronautical price, security or enhanced premium services. One such service feature is becoming pre-eminent: the connected aircraft, enabled for Wireless In-Flight Entertainment (wiFE), an expansion of on-board connectivity that allows audio and video streaming to passengers’ handhelds and tablets.
The global aeronautical satellite communications market is forecast to grow from 47,500 units in 2014 to 95,500 in-service units and generate 3.2 billion US dollars in retail revenues by the end of 2024 with North America forecasted to generate most revenue with more than 11,500 units to be added by 2024 .
The trend in passenger connectivity is pointing to a wider satellite services uptake and more bandwidth to meet pent-up demand.