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Euroconsult’s important Satellite Business Week opened in Paris Monday with news that the Direct-To-Seat (DTS) aircraft entertainment and broadband services are expected to grow exponentially over the next few years as more aircraft install the technology.
One major supplier of the technology and ancillary services, Gogo says the US alone will see growth – per aircraft – expand from today’s typical $120,000 per annum (and admittedly a small amount) to closer to $1 million per aircraft, and it could be more.
The overall revenue potential, according to Gogo CFO Norman Smagley is “big, really big”. Talking to trade mag Space News on the eve of the show, he stressed that it would be a really big number, as the travelling public get used to the TV and other services on offer, and in real terms prices fall.
Gogo has a 60 per cent market share over North America and already with 2249 commercial planes under contract. Rivals Global Eagle have 524 aircraft, 410 for Thales Live TV and Panasonic’s service just 157. Add in privately-owned jets and Gogo’s service jumps to an overall total of 3170.
Upcoming, and helping boost the overall market, is FAA permission for Gogo’s 2Ku system which will dramatically increase the bandwidth some 7-fold to 70 megabits/second.
Outside of its core North American market Gogo has 550 aircraft under contract, and is expanding that fleet. Revenues at the company grew 60 percent last year to $408 million, and this year’s figures are expected to reach around $500 million.