SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service may soon be available on select flights through the Starlink Aviation service. SpaceX has announced that its high performance, low latency service will soon be available on many business jet models.
With this new service, which unfortunately will not be available on most commercial flights, SpaceX says it can deliver speeds “up to 350 Mbps” on each aircraft, allowing all passengers “to access a streaming-compatible internet connection.” “.
“With a latency of just 20ms, passengers can engage in previously non-functional in-flight activities, including video calls, online gaming, virtual private networks and other high data rate activities.” Elon Musk. As a reminder, aviation is the fourth sector targeted by Starlink, after residential and commercial sectors, as well as recreational vehicles and maritime transport. SpaceX has reached an agreement with cruise line Royal Caribbean to deploy Starlink across its entire fleet.
Very competitive market
SpaceX has developed a streamlined, low-profile receiving terminal on the roof of an aircraft. The terminal is equipped with an electronically controlled antenna array. “Internet on airplanes will be the same as if you had access to the Internet at home!” Elon Musk, head of SpaceX, exclaimed on Twitter.
The Starlink Aviation kit includes an air terminal, a power supply, two wireless access points and wiring harnesses. Deliveries will begin in 2023, according to SpaceX. Yet Starlink is far from alone in this market. Viasat is already offering satellite Wi-Fi service to commercial airlines on board aircraft. Its geostationary satellites orbit at an altitude of about 34,000 km above the Earth. Intelsat, the largest provider of airborne services, is also present on about 2,000 aircraft via its satellites, with another 1,000 connected to its air-to-ground wireless network systems.
SpaceX says Starlink Aviation will have global coverage, even in the polar regions. The company points out that geostationary satellites do not cover the polar regions. The service appears to be aimed at business jets rather than commercial carriers. SpaceX notes that Starlink Aviation currently supports the following types of aircraft: ERJ-135, ERJ-145, G650, G550, Falcon 2000, G450, Challenger 300, Challenger 350, Global Express, Global 5000, Global 6000 and Global 7500. The company will update the list of supported aircraft types over time.