- Elon Musk explained SpaceX’s plans to use Starlink for in-flight Wi-Fi, saying in a tweet Thursday that the service could “add low latency ~half gigabit connectivity over the air!”
- Starlink is the company’s project to build an interconnected Internet network with thousands of satellites to deliver high-speed Internet to consumers anywhere on the planet.
- SpaceX has previously said it has an “aviation product in development” and that Starlink is in talks with “several” airlines about adding in-flight Wi-Fi.
Elon Musk on Thursday pitched SpaceX’s plans to use Starlink for in-flight Wi-Fi, stressing that his company is in discussions with airlines to add high-speed satellite Internet service .
“Please let them know if you want this on your airliner,” Musk wrote in a tweet, adding that Starlink “could add low latency ~half a gigabit connectivity over the air!”
Starlink plans to build an interconnected Internet network with thousands of satellites, known in the space industry as a constellation, designed to deliver high-speed Internet to consumers anywhere on the planet.
SpaceX has launched 1,740 Starlink satellites to date, and the network has more than 100,000 users in 14 countries who are participating in a public beta that costs $99 a month for the service.
SpaceX vice president Jonathan Hoffler said earlier this year that the company is in talks with “several” airlines about adding Starlink in-flight Wi-Fi, noting that it has an “aviation product in development”. .
“We’ve had a few performances to date and [are] Want to finalize that product to be put on the plane in the near future,” Höffler said in June.
The airline works with satellite broadband providers for inflight Wi-Fi, with Viasat and Intelsat – the latter of which bought Gogo’s commercial aviation business – two companies that are used by airlines including Delta, JetBlue, American Airlines and United. Connectivity on flights. But, while existing services use satellites in distant orbits, Starlink satellites orbit closer to Earth and can increase the speed that passengers see inflight.
Hoffler also emphasized that Starlink “provides a global net,” so that “airlines are flying under that global net, wherever they go.”
Shares of Gogo, which now focuses on commercial aviation rather than commercial airlines, fell as much as 5% in Thursday’s trading.
Musk has previously said that “regulatory approval” is currently setting the timeline for when Starlink can be used by the airline, as the service “has to be certified for each aircraft type.”
“Focusing on the 737 and A320 as they serve the most people with development testing at Gulfstream,” Musk said in a tweet in June.