When it comes to considering inflight connectivity for your airline or corporate jet, there is a wide belief that it’s Wi-Fi or bust. This is not the case anymore.
In 2010 Bluetooth became a viable alternative to Wi-Fi for aircraft looking to introduce connectivity services for passengers and crew.
Fast-forward to 2017 and Bluetooth is the global wireless standard for simple, secure connectivity. It’s used in billions of consumer electronics, home devices, retail sales systems and manufacturing.
Bluetooth is at the centre of the Internet of Things (IoT) and has developed into the ideal technology to connect the next billion things in this world, like commercial airliners, private jets and military aircraft. In fact, it is already doing so.
Here are the Top 5 reasons why Bluetooth is better than Wi-Fi for inflight connectivity
- Cheaper Data
If you’ve heard of broadband then you may know that it costs a lot of money to access it in an aircraft. Bluetooth is great because it doesn’t need broadband. In fact, it has its own ‘band’ that is more efficient and perfectly suited for today’s short burst data such as audio streaming, instant messaging, emailing and photo exchange. The quick, compact and precise nature of this method means data costs for communications can be reduced by up to 98% when compared to inflight Wi-Fi.
- Less Hardware
Bluetooth needs only one access point to service an entire aircraft, whereas Wi-Fi requires multiple access points that come at an exorbitant price in order to provide a reasonable service to all passengers. High-powered transmitters like Wi-Fi means complicated and expensive installation and certification costs; but a low-power technology like Bluetooth has no certification issues and can therefore cut avionics system costs by up to 95%.
- Robust Security
Bluetooth’s security is unique not only for the way it switches channels, but as a closed network that when combined with encryption and proprietary protocols is more secure than open Wi-Fi as there is no external way to access it.
- Longer Lasting Battery Life
The Bluetooth 4 version is known as Bluetooth Low Energy and comes as standard in all modern Apple and Android smartphones. Bluetooth Low Energy draws so little power that it can run off a watch battery for 12 months! Naturally, your phone battery will last a lot longer on Bluetooth than Wi-Fi.
- Bluetooth Is Only Getting Better…
The latest Bluetooth 5 is set for imminent release in all new generation Apple and Android phones. This technology update will deliver quadruple the range, double the speed, and boost broadcast messaging capacity by 800%. Research suggests there will be more than 24 billion IoT devices on earth by 2020 as Bluetooth continues to evolve to meet our demands on the ground and in the sky.
The big mobile players like Apple continue to drive Bluetooth technology because they know it’s the new course of connectivity. If you’re contemplating connectivity or are concerned about the high costs of Wi-Fi, then you should be considering the benefits of Bluetooth because it may just save you thousands of dollars.
To find out how you can equip your aircraft with a Bluetooth-based system, visit our website here.