2010 vs 2020

The world of Wi-Fi has changed. Can your inflight system keep up?

Quick stat: In 2019, video accounted for over 60% of the world’s total internet data consumption.

10 years ago, Gogo launched the ATG 5000 connectivity system. At the time, it was state-of-the-art, and to this day it continues to connect thousands of business aviation flights all across the U.S. But at what point does even great technology begin to lose its edge? When is it time to accept that the world around you has changed enough to warrant a change in your technology?
In this blog, we’ll take a look at the past 10 years – from 2010 to 2020 – to explore how the world of Wi-Fi has altered dramatically. You’ll see that everything about people’s online lifestyle is faster, more visual, more “right now” and more data intensive.
Case in point: We don’t read the paper; we watch it. We don’t carry DVDs or a music player; we binge stream episodes and playlists. We don’t just “call in” to meetings, we join with a full video and audio experience. Even work projects are cloud stored and sometimes entirely inaccessible when you’re not connected.
And this reality is the same in the air as it is on the ground. In fact, for business aviation, the need for newer technology is amplified because the stakes are higher for every hour of an executive’s time.
With that said, here’s a quick “then and now” look at the world of Wi-Fi.



 Quick stat: Explosive growth of monthly mobile data usage 

  • Monthly data usage per smartphone has grown from 269 Megabytes to 5.1 GIGABYTES
Smartphones then and now

People love their mobile phones. That was true in 2010 and remains true 10 years later. What's different, though, is how people are using their phones. Then it was calls, basic email, texting and calendars. Now we use our phones like mini-laptops and pro-caliber photo and studios. All of which generates a lot of data, which we then send to social sites and cloud storage.


  • Apple iPhone 4 / BlackBerry Torch / Samsung Epic.
  • 8 mega pixel cameras are the smartphone norm.
  • The first iPad came out and it was Wi-Fi only - no data plans!
  • Windows 7 is the latest PC operating system.


  • Apple iPhone 11Pro / Samsung Galaxy S10 / Google Pixel 4.
  • 144.1 million tablets shipped worldwide.
  • 4K video (including) recording on both phones and tablets.



 Quick stat: Amazon pushes Prime

  • In 2010, Amazon was pushing the Kindle hard and books were still its top-billed category. Now, Amazon doesn't even think people read books anymore and mostly pushes Prime Video.
Amazon web site then and now

Look beyond the obvious redesigns and buzz words like "mobile friendly" and you'll see that nearly all modern websites cater to our desire for rich experiences: from live sports and news, to video reports over written articles.


  • AOL Instant Messenger and MySpace dominate online connections.
  • Facebook and YouTube were only 2 years old (and Facebook was still exclusive to college students).


  • YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest are the hub of social networking and exhibit the growing use of video and HD imagery.
  • People spend on average 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day. Half of that is spent on mobile devices.
  • Google Chrome is by far the most dominant browser on earth.



 Quick stat: Video conferencing connects a remote world

  • 94% of businesses say video conferencing increases productivity.
  • 87% of employees not physically present for a meeting report feeling better engaged with colleagues through video

Whether it's the booming freelance industry or business as usual for executive travelers, technology is finally enabling people to truly be remote yet stay in touch like they're still in the office. But behind the scenes, it takes a lot of high-speed connections and data to make that possible.


  • VPN is a rarity.
  • Thumb and external drives save our data.
  • Email is the primary business communication tool.


  • VPN usage quadruples.
  • iCloud, GoogleDrive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox.
  • Email + Basecamp, Trello and Slack enable instant collaboration and on-demand work environments.
  • 68% of video calls take place on mobile devices.



 Quick stat: Streaming music wants to be a billionaire

  • YouTube revealed that “more than 1 billion music fans come to YouTube each month to be part of music culture and discover new music.”
Netflix web site then and now

It'll come as no surprise that the world -- both in the air and on the ground -- has gone fully digital in how we want to spend our fun time. And it goes without saying that a few hours of streaming uses up tons more data than reading a paperback.


  • Netflix is still mostly a DVD-by-mail company.
  • Instagram debuts in app store.
  • Spotify wasn’t available in the U.S. and Amazon Prime Video didn’t exist.
  • Nintendo Wii is on many wish-lists.


  • There are 508.44 million streaming video subscribers. By 2024 it will reach almost 950 million.
  • Streaming music has 304.9 million global subscribers.
  • Netflix originals have won 8 Academy Awards from 54 nominations.
  • Disney+ reached 28.6 million streaming subscribers just 4 months after launch.
  • Gaming consoles go mobile (think Nintendo switch).

 Added stat: How much data does online gaming use? 

When it comes to gaming, there's a wide range of gaming types that will consume vastly different amounts of internet data usage. But one thing is certain, gaming gobbles up a lot of data. 


Online gaming can use 3MB - 300MB/hour: 

  • Hearthstone: 3MB/hour
  • Fortnite: 100MB/hour
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops: 80MB/hour
  • Destiny 2: 300MB/hour


Well, there it is. A clear case that Wi-Fi users – inflight as well as on the ground – are connecting to their personal and professional worlds in vastly different ways than they did just 10 years ago.
For business aviation operators, this then begs the question: If my ATG system doesn’t have enough firepower to handle modern Wi-Fi, what does?
The answer is already here. Discover Gogo’s AVANCE L5 connectivity system and see how you can upgrade to aviation’s fastest, smartest, most personal inflight internet and entertainment. Everyone on board will thank you.