Elon Musk says Starlink will bring faster internet speeds to airlines

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, stands in the foundry of the Tesla Gigafactory during a press event. Year.

Patrick Pleul | Image Alliance | Image Alliance | Getty Images

Elon Musk announced on Thursday SpaceX’s plan to use Starlink for onboard WiFi, stressing that his company was in talks with airlines about adding the high-speed satellite internet service.

“Please let them know if you’d like it on your airliner,” Musk wrote in a tweet, adding that Starlink could add “low latency connectivity ~ half a gigabit in the air”!

Starlink is the company’s plan to build an interconnected Internet network of thousands of satellites, known in the aerospace industry as the Constellation, to deliver high-speed Internet to consumers around the world.

SpaceX has launched 1,740 Starlink satellites to date, and the network has more than 100,000 users in 14 countries participating in a public beta that costs $ 99 a month to service.

SpaceX Vice President Jonathan Hofeller said earlier this year that the company was “in talks with several” airlines to include Starlink WiFi on board, noting that it was “an aviation product in development”.

“We have already made a few demonstrations and [are] We want to have this product ready in the near future for use in airplanes, “Hofeller said in June.

Airlines are partnering with satellite broadband providers for in-flight WiFi, Viasat and Intelsat – the latter bought Gogo’s commercial aviation business – two such companies that are adding connectivity to flights operated by airlines such as Delta, JetBlue, American Airlines and United. But while existing services use satellites in distant orbits, Starlink satellites orbit closer to Earth and could increase the speeds passengers see in flight.

Hofeller also emphasized that Starlink “offers a global network” so that “airlines flying under this global network have connectivity everywhere”.

Shares in Gogo, now focused more on business aviation than commercial airlines, fell as much as 5% in trading Thursday.

A Boeing 737-200 prepares to land at Jorge Newbery Airport in Buenos Aires on August 21, 2008.

Juan Mabromata | AFP | Getty Images

Musk previously said that “regulatory approval” currently dictates the timing of when airlines can use Starlink, as the service “must be certified for each type of aircraft”.

“Focusing on the 737 and A320 as these serve the most people, with development testing on Gulfstream,” Musk said in a tweet in June.

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