The idea of ‘direct-to-seat’ connectivity on aircraft is not new, and plenty of airlines now deliver internet and satellite-delivered entertainment choices to passengers. But satellite operator SES says the demand for aircraft-based satellite communications is growing extremely rapidly.
CEO Karim Michel Sabbagh told analysts on February 26th that while today’s typical demand averages no more than 20 megabits per second of overall demand per aircraft, this will speedily increase to 175-200 megabits per aircraft by the end of the decade.
He told analysts that even if one or more of the ‘big three’ major suppliers of aircraft connectivity (Panasonic Avionics, Gogo and Global Eagle Entertainment) were to merge it would not reduce demand. There would still be much the same demand for broadband capacity.
Sabbagh said that today’s demand represented only about 3 percent of SES’s revenues, but that would grow to 10 per cent.