The fledgling in-flight broadband market is set for serious growth
this year, according to analyst house In-Stat, which predicts the
number of web-enabled airplanes will surge from 25 in 2008 to some 800
by the end of this year.
estimates there will be more than 200 million in-flight broadband
connections annually by 2013, with the long-haul connections dominating.
on the gadget front, laptops and netbooks will generate more
connections than handheld devices such as smartphones — accounting for
about two-thirds and one-third, respectively.
analyst believes broadband-hungry airline passengers will generate more
than $49m (£32m) of revenue worldwide this year, expanding to more than $1bn
annually by 2012.
But despite the market gaining
momentum the analyst said challenges to growth still remain — not least
the sickly worldwide economy.
Back in January, British
Airways announced plans to launch an in-flight wireless service later
this year for emails, internet browsing and SMS, on an all-business-class route from London City airport to New York JFK.