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The Inflight Wi-Fi Challenge

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We’ve grown accustomed to constant connectivity. We expect email to be accessible whether we’re in our living room, stuck in traffic, or grabbing a quick coffee at the Starbucks on the corner. Until recently, the one place we didn’t expect to connect was inflight. After all, who would have expected high speed internet 39,000 feet above Kalamazoo?

Yet, here we are. Twenty-five percent of all commercial aircraft are equipped with some form of Wi-Fi connectivity, and the London School of Economics anticipates inflight internet will be ubiquitous on commercial aircraft by 2035. Gogo, Panasonic, Viasat, and others are going all in on advanced satellite technologies and other solutions. United, JetBlue, and Southwest are coming up with their own offerings. Air travel was once a respite from work. Now, it is evolving into one of the most productive work environments imaginable.

Exciting stuff, right?

There’s just one catch… it’s 2018, not 2035. There is no industry-wide standard for inflight Wi-Fi, and airlines have adopted vastly different inflight connectivity strategies, which makes the user experience hard to predict. All that means you might find yourself inflight with no Wi-Fi, even when you expect to have it.

Read our paper to understand the current challenges of inflight Wi-Fi.

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