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Prospects for In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity

Prospects for In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity. Sector dynamics, analysis and forecasts addressing the IFEC market for commercial airlines and business aviation. | Published May 2017

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Prospects for In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity includes sector dynamics, analysis and forecasts addressing the IFEC market for commercial airlines and business aviation. Interviews have been conducted with stakeholders from around the globe and across the full value chain, including satellite operators, service providers, antenna/modem manufacturers and airlines. An analysis of the various stakeholders of the ecosystem is presented as well as Euroconsult's 10-year forecast for cabin connectivity. The report assesses trends for both content and equipment provision; market forecasts for revenue, installation, and bandwidth by region, by segment and by network technology are provided.

Highlights from the report:

Over 17,000 commercial aircraft will offer connectivity to their passengers by 2021, up from 6,500 aircraft in 2016. In January 2017, over 80 airlines had either installed or committed to install in-flight connectivity (IFC) solutions. This is a dozen more than last year. And while the recent U.S. and U.K. bans of personal electronic devices on certain flights might impact IFEC dynamics if extended, we believe that aero connectivity is poised for structural growth.

Our research confirms that installations will accelerate, and innovation largely improve the in-flight experience. New generation satellite systems (globally) and air-to-ground networks (in the U.S. and Europe) will dramatically increase available bandwidth. Industry leaders such as Inmarsat, Gogo, Intelsat, SES, ViaSat and new entrants such as SmartSky Networks invest in or have started to deploy networks offering up to hundreds of Gbps. IFC hardware, from receiving antennas to modems and in-cabin solutions, is also evolving rapidly. Honeywell, ThinKom, Gilat and Zodiac Data Systems for example introduced new antenna solutions in recent months.

In the current take-up phase, we observe a diversity in pricing models applied by airlines to passengers, from free access to a premium applied by the hour, by flight or on a monthly basis. For airline connectivity suppliers, we estimate that revenues from IFC topped $1 billion in 2016 and should reach $6.5 billion by 2026.

Report Features:

  • Over 100 pages of analysis, graphs and tables
  • Extensive 10-year forecasts in Excel
  • The report covers 6 regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Asia, Oceania

Key trends, drivers & forecasts:

  • Overview and trends of the IFE market 
  • E-aircraft solutions: The smart plane concept
  • Analysis of the business aviation and commercial aviation addressable markets
  • Strategic considerations, market share & business models for operators, service providers, IFC equipment manufacturers
  • Benchmark of IFC systems, IFC ecosystem & value chain
  • Operator business models
  • IFC service provider profiles
  • 10-year forecasts for both commercial airlines & business aviation:
    • Active terminals for in-flight connectivity by region of installation at year-end
    • FSS bandwidth leased by region of usage (Gbps)
    • Satellite operator level revenues ($ in millions)
    • Service provider revenues ($ in millions)
    • Annual revenue per aircraft - ARPA ($) for commercial airlines


Who will benefit from this report:

  • MSS & FSS operators 
  • In-flight connectivity providers 
  • IFE system providers 
  • Satellite equipment manufacturers 
  • Satellite manufacturers 
  • Investors & financial institutions 
  • Government agencies


  • Scope & methodology
  • The in-flight connectivity market in 2016
  • In-flight entertainment: Growing adoption of wireless solutions in single-aisle fleets
  • In-flight connectivity: A fast-growing market
  • New networking infrastructure
  • Service providers
  • From satellite capacity supply to passenger connectivity
  • The smart plane concept taking shape
  • Market forecasts to 2026
    • Commercial aviation
    • Business aviation
    • Total aviation
    • Summary - key figures
    • VSAT capacity demand by region (in Gbps)





  • In-flight connectivity: The basics
  • Frequency band overview
  • ATG
    • Technology roadmap
    • Focus on the next generation in the U.S.
    • What about the European Aviation Network (EAN)?
  • Satellite connectivity
  • Benchmark of IFC systems: Key strengths and weaknesses
  • IFE integrates new media consumption trends
  • IFE: An airline brand recognition
  • Providing IFE content
  • IFE market players
  • New types of IFE options
  • An ancillary source of revenue


  • The smart plane concept
  • Electronic flight bag (EFB)
  • Weather monitoring and forecast
  • Health monitoring
  • Flight tracking
  • Flight operations optimization



  • Introduction


  • Different network operators for different applications
  • Inmarsat: The pioneer MSS operator in the aviation market
  • Iridium: The leading MSS operator in business aviation
  • FSS satellite operators increasingly targeting aviation
  • HTS satellites to support new-generation IFC services
  • LEO/MEO constellations
  • Different business models of satellite operators
  • Gogo as the leading air-to-ground network operator
  • New entrants expected in the air-to-ground segment



  • Main market players' positioning
  • Market share by service provider
  • Company profiles
    • Gogo
    • Panasonic Avionics
    • Global Eagle
    • Thales
    • Viasat and Inmarsat
  • Service provider market share per region
  • Connected commercial aircraft per aircraft type
  • Connected aircraft by service provider and aircraft type
  • Intensification of competition
  • HTS set to be the name of the game
  • Aircraft installations - STC by service provider and aircraft type
  • Business models and move to the business jet market
  • Focus on profitability



  • IFC antenna market
  • Antenna manufacturers competitive analysis
  • Antenna technology
  • In-flight connectivity equipment (modems, radomes)



  • Facts and figures (2016)
  • Addressable market
  • Addressable market - commercial aircraft segmentation
  • Passenger traffic growth
  • Profitability of the airline industry
  • Increased penetration of IFC
  • Service comparison by type of technology
  • Connected commercial aircraft by region YE2016
  • Airlines' business models for IFC: Paid model
  • Airlines' business models for IFC: Sponsored model
  • Case studies
    • Southwest
    • Emirates
    • Lufthansa
  • Connected commercial aircraft 2016-2026
  • Market forecasts through 2026



  • Facts and figures (2016)
  • Addressable market
  • Addressable market: Segmentation
  • Business jet manufacturers
  • Increased penetration of IFC
  • IFC pricing
  • Market share by operator business aircraft 2016
  • Market forecasts through 2026
  • Connected business aircraft 2016-2026



Geoffroy Stern, Senior Consultant

Development Team:

Capucine Fargier, Senior Consultant

Florent Rizzo, Consultant


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