Intelsat debunks inflight WiFi myths

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Intelsat has published the first in a blog series designed to debunk myths about satellite communications and how it is planning for its future. Intelsat answers the argument that “Truly exceptional inflight WiFi will always be out of reach”.

Intelsat reminds readers that in 2019 – in happier pre-Covid times – US airlines carried more than 925 million passengers, the highest total based on comparable records since 2003. Even in the face of projected near- and medium-term impacts of Covid-19, the global commercial aviation market is expected to grow 10 per cent annually over the next decade.

“One thing’s for sure: air travel has become more accessible than ever, and in the last few years, the number of airline passengers has skyrocketed,” says Intelsat.

The satellite operator suggests that in our current digital age, being connecting to your device while in the air has become more of a necessity than a luxury.

“Whether it’s a phone, tablet or computer, our devices are where we receive our news, watch shows, respond to emails, answer texts and even schedule transportation at the end of a flight via ride-sharing services,” says Intelsat.

Some passengers have complained over the quality of in-flight broadband service. Intelsat admits this, commenting: “The fact is, inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) has been steadily improving over the past few years. More aircraft are being retrofitted with the equipment and antennas designed to take advantage of powerful multi-layer high-throughput satellite (HTS) networks, like Intelsat’s.”

In December Intelsat acquired the commercial aviation division of in-flight specialists Gogo (for $400 million). Intelsat says the combination of its satellite fleet plus Gogo’s expertise and the progress being made to provide an ‘at home-like” internet experience will boost take-up and “ultimately helping airlines boost their brand loyalty and NPS (Net promotor Score).”


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