With the official launch of Starlink Aviation early next year, SpaceX’s satellite internet service Starlink will soon be accessible on some airplanes.
According to the company, any aircraft fitted with its Aero Terminal would receive internet speeds of up to 350 Mbps, which are fast enough for video chats, online gaming, and “other high data rate activities.”
It’s a significant improvement above the average speeds provided by the majority of in-flight Wi-Fi. According to OneZero, the majority of flights either employ air-to-ground systems, which have a maximum throughput of about 10Mbps per flight (and only function when flying over land), or modern satellite systems, which normally provide throughputs of between 30Mbps and 100Mbps. Since these speeds are per plane, actual speeds can vary depending on the number of passengers using the internet on each flight.
According to support pages on SpaceX’s website, the company’s internet connections will have a latency as low as 20ms and be accessible during taxi, takeoff, flight over land and sea, and landing.
According to a FAQ, Starlink Aviation will provide worldwide service. In contrast to geostationary satellites, low-earth orbit satellites are constantly overhead or nearby to deliver a strong signal at high latitudes and in polar regions. Delivery is anticipated to begin in the middle of 2023.
According to Aviacionline, Starlink Aviation was able to provide 100Mbps internet speed onboard during a recent test flight. The test was carried out by JSX, which declared in April that it will be among the first airlines to use the in-flight internet service, on a route from Burbank to San José, California.
In September, JSX CEO Alex Wilcox said he expects to start making it available to passengers this month and have each one of the company’s planes equipped with the system by the end of the year. Hawaiian Airlines also announced an agreement with Starlink in April, with installation expected to begin next year.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, has long spoken about the company’s intentions to make its Starlink internet service available to aircraft. SpaceX submitted a request to the Federal Communications Commission in March 2021 asking for permission to utilize Starlink on moving platforms. Soon after, Musk tweeted, “This is for aircraft, ships, huge vehicles & RVs.” Since then, Starlink Maritime for boats and Starlink RV for mobile homes have both been launched.