Week in Research: In-flight broadband takes off; Cable, DSL, fiber vying for broadband supremacy

In-flight broadband gets off the ground: Travelers who want to stay connected will continue to find they'll have another option on the plane via in-flight Wi-Fi. Although the market has taken almost a decade to make its way off the runway, In-Stat points out that deployments of Wi-Fi on airplanes have risen in recent years. The research firm forecasts that in-flight Wi-Fi broadband deployments will surpass 6,100 planes worldwide in 2015. Amy Cravens, Senior Analyst for In-Stat, said that what's driving the growth of the in-flight Wi-Fi market is the installed base of Wi-Fi-enabled devices. "With more people carrying Wi-Fi-enabled devices, the potential addressable market has increased multi-fold" and "the variety of Wi-Fi-enabled devices has also changed considerably, which will significantly alter the usage of in-flight broadband." Release

Fibre Channel thrives on cloud, virtualization: The ongoing growth of virtual and cloud-based services has become a spark for Fibre Channel market growth. According to its new storage area network (SAN) report, Dell'Oro Group has forecast that Fibre Channel (FC) switch and adapter revenues will rise to $2.8 billion in 2016 at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about three percent. "Virtualization and cloud initiatives have driven tremendous growth in the datacenter, providing new and exciting opportunities in storage," said Casey Quillin, Analyst at Dell'Oro Group. Release

Cable, DSL, fiber vying for broadband supremacy: This just in: Consumers like their fixed broadband connection. A new ABI Research report revealed that in 2011, DSL, cable and fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP)-based broadband providers all reported an uptick in subscriber growth. A number of countries saw the declines in their DSL subscriber base being offset by the growth of FTTP-based subscriptions. Traditional telcos are either replacing their existing copper-based networks with fiber, or upgrading their infrastructure to support higher-speed VDSL2 over short distances from a remote terminal cabinet to the home. Almost five percent of DSL broadband customers worldwide were able to access a VDSL-based service last year. Cable, of course, is being no less aggressive. All of the major domestic U.S.-based cable MSOs, including Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), are in the process of upgrading their HFC-based networks to DOCSIS 3.0 to support speeds of 50 and even 100 Mbps to battle Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) FiOS offering and beat them in areas where they have not rolled out FTTP yet. ABI argues that competitive pressures to offer higher speeds will help carriers generate $191 billion in broadband revenue in 2012, reaching $217 billion in 2016. Release