SpaceX’s Starlink plans to bring airplanes internet to airplanes in the near future, VP says
Sixty Starlink satellites will be launched after the company’s 17th mission.
SpaceX is “in talks with several” airlines to use its Starlink satellite internet network to provide WiFi to travelers on board, the company’s project leader said on Wednesday.
“We have our own aerospace product under development … we have already done a few demonstrations and [are] We want this product to be ready for use in aircraft in the near future, “said Jonathan Hofeller, Vice President of SpaceX, during a panel at the Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit.
Hofeller did not provide a schedule for Starlink’s on-board services and said that an announcement would “hopefully come sooner rather than later”. The Verge first reported on Hofeller’s comments on Wednesday.
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 potentially increase the speeds passengers see in flight. Hofeller added that Starlink “provides a global network” so that “airlines flying under this global network have connectivity everywhere”.
“Passengers and customers want a great experience [geosynchronous satellite] Systems just can’t afford it, “said Hofeller.
Following the sale of the commercial aviation unit by Gogo, the company will focus on the business aviation market. Gogo stock fell 9% in trading Thursday to below $ 13 per share amid SpaceX news of fears from a potential new competitor in the aerospace broadband space.
A Starlink user terminal is set up.