Starlink: SpaceX negotiates with airlines for WiFi on planes

SpaceX has contacted several airlines to connect their planes to Starlink’s satellite Internet network. The company wishes to extend its offer to airplanes and thus improve the WiFi experience on board.

Starlink: WiFi Internet on planes

Not content with offering very high speed Internet to marginalized areas via its Starlink Internet offer, SpaceX wants to expand its network to include transportation. The company had submitted last March an authorization request to the FCC, the telecommunications regulatory authority in the United States to offer its Internet by satellite to “earth stations in motion”.

If many were quick to interpret this request by his desire to offer Starlink Internet on Tesla cars, Elon Musk dismissed this hypothesis. And for good reason, signal reception still relies on antennas that are too large for the brand’s electric vehicles. Starlink aims instead to connect planes, boats, but also trucks.

SpaceX in talks with several airlines to offer its WiFi on board

The file has evolved quite a bit since this request. SpaceX wasted no time and announces it has started negotiations with airlines to connect their planes to the Starlink network. ” We have our own developing aviation product. We have already done some demonstrations so far, and we are looking to finalize this product for installation on airplanes in the very near future. Said Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX vice president responsible for Starlink. It was within the framework of Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit.

« We are in talks with several airlines », He clarified. Starlink, the beta version of which was launched in France in May 2021, is a very high speed Internet project by SpaceX. The company wants to combine the digital divide with the past by offering super-fast internet access anywhere in the world. The project is based on thousands of stellites placed in low earth orbit.

4,400 satellites are needed to provide global coverage. And since the start of the project, Starlink has regularly launched satellites using its Falcon 9 rocket and is already at around 1,800. It also attracts the lightning of some astronomers. The latter are calling for legal action against SpaceX for space pollution.

But for now, the company is moving inexorably towards launching its large-scale service by the end of the year. Last month, we learned that Starlink had already registered more than 500,000 pre-orders. This means that customers are scrambling to be part of the first served.

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