Although internet usage on airplanes has increased the last few years, the market has yet to substantially grow due to the lack of availability, slow speeds and heavy costs to the consumer.
A study by DePaul University found that 35.9% of airline passengers used mobile technology during the four-month study, up just .6% from the same study done the year before. The report found that internet usage on airlines is growing at significantly less of a rate than other modes of transportation, such as buses, Amtrak and commuter trains.
GoGo internet service has managed to dominate the slow-growing in-flight broadband market with some estimates of a market share around 85%. GoGo offers a variety of packages including an all day pass for $16, a one hour pass for $5, a monthly pass with unlimited use between $50-$60 depending on the airline. Late last year, GoGo announced plans to offer packages with speeds up to 60 Mbps per aircraft.
Recently, JetBlue launched their new in-flight Wi-Fi service who is supposed to deliver up to 12 Mbps to each connected passenger and will cost customers $9 per hour. Unfortuately, those speeds are assuming that between 50-70 devices are connected simultaneously to the network. At the moment, this service is still in beta but is supposed to be fully ready by the end of 2014.
AT&T has also announced that they will be offering in-flight broadband which should be available “as soon as late 2015.” We have not been told of any specific details for the price of the plans.