Commercial aviation is a huge and growing market sector, with only partial world coverage. In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) will soon become a must on all aircrafts, narrow as well as wide body. The in-flight internet traffic is on the rise with more passengers connecting during flights, using social media applications and high data rate video streaming. Text messaging and E-Mail are not enough, as passengers seek same experience as on land.
Some airlines are considering providing free IFC, which will boost traffic further requiring each aircraft antenna to support hundreds of passengers on-line with traffic of up to 1Gbps and much lower cost per MB than today.
Installation simplicity has key importance since cost of downtime needed to install such aircraft antenna might be higher than the cost of the antenna itself. Flat panels will become the norm in this industry, with a clear demand for no moving parts, high reliability and maintainability.
Multibeam support is becoming a necessity to support upcoming LEO and MEO constellations or multiple satellites simultaneously.
Airlines are looking to expand their broadband grade of service onboard, by offering a competitive connectivity with seamless satellite networking service, and enabling satellite switching and flexibility to choose the best service provisioning offering. In order to compete in the market, and be able to offer free broadband service onboard, affordable terminals with efficient satellite communication technology is a must.