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Upside for Airline Passenger Entertainment

Video is a high growth market segment. Live broadcast video is poised for significant growth in 2009, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

While this service is more established than in-flight broadband, usage revenues are still anticipated to nearly double in 2009 to reach almost a quarter of a billion dollars, nearly five times the size of the in-flight broadband market.

However, the compelling demand for Wi-Fi connectivity among airline passengers drives higher growth for in-flight broadband. By 2011, in-flight broadband service revenue will exceed that of direct video broadcast, with in-flight broadband revenues of $761 million.

"The airline industry is desperately trying to better monetize its cabins," according to Frank Dickson, In-Stat Vice President of Research.

"Direct video broadcast services and in-flight broadband services are two compelling ways that provide passengers with a better customer experience while allowing the airline industry to add incremental revenue. It is a true win/win."

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- The majority of direct video broadcast deployments belong to LiveTV, with Panasonic being their largest competitor.

- In-Stat expects that, in later forecast years, IPTV will contribute a portion of in-flight video revenues.

- The number of broadband enabled airplanes will increase from 25 in 2008 to 800 in 2009.

- Airline passengers will generate over $47 million worldwide in 2009. In-flight broadband equipment revenue will nearly double between 2009 and 2013.

- In-Stat forecasts over 200 million annual in-flight broadband connects by 2013, with long-haul connects dominating over short-haul connects.

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