In-flight connectivity – A channel of revenue for Telecommunication Service Providers

In-flight connectivity

Telecommunication Service Providers (TSPs), recognize in-flight connectivity as a potential new avenue for revenue growth. Collaboration between both airlines and mobile network operators, offer each the opportunity to increase their value.

With over 80 airlines currently offering WiFi onboard, there is an increasing demand for high-quality connectivity during a flight. Research has shown, that the ability to use a smartphone while flying, is one of the top three considerations of a traveler. The issue of connectivity is considered somewhat of a priority, especially when the average smartphone user will check their phones an estimated 47 times a day. As such, not having WiFi available on a commercial flight, may be the cause of frustration and a less-than-satisfying travel experience. Airlines that have invested in passenger connectivity are benefiting significantly. Carriers such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Qatar airlines have been recognized for their sophisticated in-flight services, and exceptional reputation in service quality and customer satisfaction.  

Connectivity and Customer loyalty

In-flight connectivity has become a major driver of airline customer loyalty – with high-quality connectivity on board, fast becoming the way to retain customers. Why are we seeing this rapid shift in trend? The average traveler is getting younger, so the demand for more advanced services has become more prevalent. In-flight WiFi is no longer considered a luxury but rather a necessity when traveling from one destination to another. Airlines are becoming more aware that passengers seek to access live/online entertainment, stay connected with family and friends and remain up-to-date with business-related correspondences.

Connectivity and the in-flight shopping experience

In-flight connectivity may inspire redesign of inflight tax-free shopping. The conventional trolley of products, will no longer have a place in the connected in-flight experience. WiFi on-board may open up greater opportunities for e-commerce development, and consequently transform the way we currently purchase items on-board. In-flight purchases made online, with real-time transactions, will increase the range of products available with the possibility of items being delivered, directly to your door-step. Personalized shopping will take shape – as large volumes of additional data is generated – by customizing the shopping experience in-flight to suit individual shopping preferences and interests.

Carriers understand the importance of connectivity

Currently, WIFI onboard is still gathering momentum, with some carriers hailing great WiFi services, whilst others, still offering questionable standards of connectivity. Despite some areas of inconsistency, carriers are beginning to realize the enormous potential in providing customers better technology and faster WiFi speeds. Integrated operations, connectivity and communication, made possible with Telecommunication Service Providers (TSPs), have enabled the aviation industry to redefine the passenger experience. Travelers are now able to stay connected and access information regardless of how long their journey takes. Flying is no longer seen as a disconnected inconvenient experience but rather one that satisfies the needs of the modern-day traveler.

With in-flight connectivity solutions constantly being developed, Telecommunication Service Providers (TSPs), will likely put to greater use, their expertise in 5G technologies. Providers with substantial experience in areas such as server management for in-flight broadband systems, will be at a seeming advantage over their competitors. The overall experience and quality of connectivity during a flight, will only ever be as good as the service provider and the network that supports them.