Chicago-based aviation broadband specialist Gogo believes the challenge of inflight connectivity bandwidth has now been overcome, leaving monetization as the final hurdle.

“We are now in an age where bandwidth is no longer an issue,” Gogo CCO Jon Cobin told delegates at the Aircraft Interiors Conference (AIX) in Hamburg.

He added that the other limiting factor—of who pays—is still outstanding, but the ability to charge for connectivity is tied to bandwidth.

“Airline passengers can now do whatever they want,” including onboard streaming and browsing, he said. “This is a key enabler in bringing connectivity to airlines.”

Now the technological challenge has been overcome, the business model can evolve, he said.

However, Cobin added there is no single solution to the monetization dilemma: “To us, the answer is it is a multi-payer model,” he said.

This is likely to include passenger-paid internet access, as well as free internet supported by either the airlines themselves as part of their brand identity, or by third-party sponsors.

Victoria Moores