SpaceX’s Starlink to conquer planes

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company specializing in the field of astronautics and spaceflight, has just announced the launch of Starlink Aviation. This new business unit’s mission is to make high-speed satellite internet service accessible to airlines from 2023.

Previously restricted to pleasure vehicles, cruise ships and yachts, Starlink’s satellite internet service is heading for the skies. With the installation of a air terminal which incorporates an electronically controlled network antenna, will provide aircraft with Internet speeds of up to 350 megabits per second.

According to the company, this ultra-high throughput combined with low latency of only 20 milliseconds will allow you to make video calls and play online video games. Activities once impossible in flight. Indeed, to date, the major airlines are rarely able to provide an Internet speed greater than 100 megabits per second. And again, at a rather low altitude.

A price that makes headlines

For the time being, Starlink aviation is mainly targeting a high-end clientele as well as small aircraft from companies such as Embraer, Bombardier or even Gulfstream G650. Thus, this service has a price: $150,000 for the installation of the equipment and $17,000 at $34,000 per month for maintenance. However, the price may drop as the solution is deployed in major global airports and major aircraft fleets.

Starlink: a growing division

If previously Starlink’s broadband service required the use of a ground terminal with a clear view of the sky to operate, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has just authorized SpaceX to offer the service to vehicles.

Excellent news that has enabled the firm to establish many strategic partnerships. To mention only its collaboration with the airlines Hawaiian Airlines, JSX or Speedcast. T-Mobile US also announced that it will begin using Starlink service by the end of 2023 to provide customers with nationwide text messaging coverage where terrestrial macro antennas cannot reach.

According to Elon Musk, his division is on the right track and now has 500,000 subscribers.

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