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Report: IFC to recover in 2023

June 8, 2021

By Chris Forrester

In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) has suffered badly during the pandemic. The prospects are that there will be a “U-shaped” recovery for aircraft-based IFC revenues, according to Northern Sky Research’s (NSR) latest study on Aeronautical Satcom Markets.

NSR sees a rebound on the horizon for significantly impacted aero IFC services, with a U-shaped recovery underway and revenue expected to reach $38.8 Billion through 2030. A clear trend of accelerated migration to High Throughput Satellite (HTS) networks drives growth, and with recovery from Covid-19 losses by 2023, Aero HTS capacity demand will reach 924 Gb/s by 2030.

“While 2nd wave restraints moved Covid-19 recovery timelines further to the right, the trend of accelerated migration to HTS networks is evident in the technology roadmaps of top service providers and integrated operators such as GoGo’s recent transition to the 2Ku network,” says NSR.

“The opportunity in the IFC market is undeniable and hence demand for connectivity and more bandwidth will accelerate post 2023,” notes report author and NSR Senior Analyst Vivek Suresh Prasad. “Upcoming capacity supply, entry of new solutions, falling capacity and service pricing, increased migration to HTS and free service models will all be major growth trajectory accelerators.”

“The migration to HTS is expected to address critical drawbacks to IFC growth, such as low speeds and limited bandwidth allotted per aircraft, while the upcoming GEO and Non-GEO constellations will mitigate coverage challenges,” explains NSR Analyst and report co-author Joseph Ibeh.

Overall, the coming improved inflight connectivity experience will drive user take-up rates and bandwidth utilisation. As revenue and capacity demand skyrocket and pricing declines, major service providers and integrated operators will be the ones to watch, concludes NSR.

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