It seems perverse that wireless services for work and entertainment are still largely unavailable during air travel. But business and leisure travellers can look forward to this changing soon. The number of planes with access to streaming wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) is forecast to increase from about 80 today to 9,000 aircraft by 2021. Wireless IFE usually consists of a server inside the aircraft providing media such as video, TV, games, music and internet access. The systems beam these to passengers’ tablets, smartphones, or the airlines’ own handheld devices.
A new report by IMS Research, which interviewed hardware suppliers, communications companies and 50 major airlines, shows that the deployment of such systems around the world is really starting to take off in 2012.
[pictured: Lufthansa’s in-flight internet service]