5G transforming air travel

SITA predicts how ultra-fast 5G networks will bring major change for airports, airlines, and passengers. As per CSS Insight data, 5G will be a game-changer for the aviation industry with projected growth to reach around USD 4.2 bn by 2026.

The potential for innovation is huge and airports, airlines, and passengers will feel the force of 5G in very different ways. SITA’s predictions are based on unique IT insights and emerging air transport industry technology trends.
Gilles Bloch-Morhange, VP SITA Platform, said, “5G is already enhancing our existing applications at airports, for aircraft communications, airport operations, baggage management, and passenger processing. And it’s impossible to talk about 5G without discussing Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the other applications it enables.”
According to CSS Insight data, there will be 340 million 5G connections globally by 2021 and a staggering 2.7 billion by 2025, mostly in developed markets. In money terms, in the aviation industry 5G amounted to just USD 0.2 billion in 2019 but is projected to reach USD 4.2 billion by 2026.

5G will be the life-blood of IoT
5G will soon be commonplace at airports and the idea of everything intelligently connected to everything will be viable. The Internet of Things (IoT) brings the inherent need to manage increasing amounts of objects and therefore data. Multiple objects at airports will interact with people and objects will interact among themselves.

5G will power air transport-specific AI applications
5G connected AI will solve major pain points at airports and borders. AI assisted computer vision will continually scan boarding gate areas and intelligently predict capacity issues for hand luggage on flights and enable staff to act accordingly before boarding.

5G will drive operational efficiency, increase ancillary revenues & cut costs
Putting IoT and 5G together will offer great opportunities for airlines and airports to unlock the value of all their data to deliver tangible business benefits. All airport assets will be connected, making monitoring efficiency and optimising usage much simpler.

5G will mean exploitation of the potential of ‘flying data centres’
5G will enable the nextgeneration aircraft to exchange vast amounts of data around the airport and at the gate. The fast transmission of aircraft data, and analysis of that data, will enable pro-active maintenance, quicker aircraft turn-around, more on-time departures and, most importantly, an improved customer experience.

Airports will control Wi-Fi quality and have improved disruption management capabilities
Airports will have more control of quality of service in their private and public spaces, converging 5G with Wi-Fi networks to create a seamless mobile experience, with continuous connectivity. 5G is likely to replace the commonly used digital radio communications service TETRA, which is only voice-enabled, for operational and mission-critical services, providing a secure network for running airport operations.

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