As Market for In-flight Wifi Grows, the Debate Continues

The in-flight wifi debate continued last week as service providers all have a different approach to bandwidth.

Bill Sullivan, Director for Strategy and Business Development at ViaSat, commented, “People value speed, whether at home or in mobile environment. We have built a system around a very high speed experience. So we are taking that and bringing it into the airline sector.”

However, not everyone agrees that speed is the answer, especially when in-flight wifi provision is so expensive.  Row 44’s John Guidon argues,

“Just talking about speed is not satisfactory. It doesn’t explain the totality of the experience,” adding, “Really people are most interested in, in my opinion, page load time.”

There is no doubt that connectivity for in-flight wifi is in demand.  It is not a question of whether aircraft need it; it is now an account of which service to choose.  Ka-band wifi will provide speeds of at least 12Mbps per passenger, with even faster speeds being achieved with Ku-band or satellite in-flight wifi operations.

Most airlines recognise passengers’ growing demands for in-flight wifi and with the buzz created by the different broadband connectivity providers, the market is exploding.

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