As SpaceX continues to deploy a number of satellites in low-Earth orbit as part of its Starlink Internet project, the company revealed this week that it plans to provide in-flight Wi-Fi from “multiple airlines”. Talking about possibility.
SpaceX’s Starlink and VP of commercial sales Jonathan Hoffler revealed the news during an event at the Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit on Wednesday, ledge Reported.
“We are in talks with a number of airlines,” Höffler told a panel at the event, “we have our own aviation product in development…we have already done some demonstrations and are in the process of finalizing that product. Looking for. Will be put on the plane in the very near future.”
SpaceX’s main objective with its Starlink initiative is to provide broadband connectivity from the Internet to terra firma using its space-based satellites to unserved or under-served communities around the world.
The company, led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, is deploying Starlink satellites in batches of about 60 during routine rocket launches that began in May 2019. The company’s most recent Starlink launch took place on May 26, and now has about 1,800 satellites. To revolve around. Although it needs to deploy about 2,500 Starlink satellites for global coverage, the company has been able to launch a beta service, and by March it already had over 10,000 customers worldwide, each paying $99 a month. plus a $499 time fee for a Starlink kit.
Beyond its ambitions to bring the Internet to homes, Hoefler’s comments indicate that the company is now making serious efforts to target other markets in order to further commercialize its technology.
Ahead of Hoffler’s comments this week, a filing with the Federal Communications Commission earlier this year revealed that SpaceX is considering the idea of installing its Internet terminals in moving vehicles. Musk confirmed the news in a tweet at the time, saying it aimed to add “planes, ships, large trucks and RVs”, though not cars, as the equipment is currently “too big”. Hoffler’s revelation that SpaceX is talking to several airlines — he didn’t say which — suggests the plan is starting to take shape right now.
The SpaceX news will certainly be of interest to the likes of Intelsat and ViaSat, two well-established providers of in-flight Internet services, although it appears that Musk’s company has yet to strike a deal with any interested airlines. has done.