SpaceX in talks to sell Starlink to airlines to fix Wi-Fi
SpaceX’s satellite Internet system, Starlink, could soon provide faster broadband to airlines, it has announced. During a conference call, the vice president of commercial sales confirmed that Elon Musk’s satellite internet company was in talks with airlines to bring the airline down and a specific aviation product was underway.
The Nerdshala reports that Jonathan Hoffler said, “We’re in talks with a number of airlines, we have our own aviation product in development … we’ve already done some demonstrations, and that product is being finalized.” Looking to deliver. In the very near future.”
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This is big news for airlines. Existing systems use either ground-to-plane towers, which require a plane over a landmass, or traditional geostationary satellites that have poor latency, are expensive and may not offer the same bandwidth. . Air-to-ground, or ATG, systems are capped at around 10 Mbps while conventional satellites may only offer 100 Mbps. Starlink can double that data rate, potentially providing far faster speeds than what is currently available.
There are a few hurdles SpaceX has to leap before officially launching a product. First, it needs FCC approval to use the system in moving vehicles, but there are also some technical problems to be solved. For one, when an aircraft is out of range of ground stations, the satellite network must be able to pass signals into space. This functionality is coming via laser-link between the Starlink satellites as the company keeps more hardware in space. The first satellites to support Laser Link were launched earlier this year.
SpaceX plans to use 4,100 satellites in its finished constellation, which will allow it to serve almost anywhere on Earth. It currently has only 2,000 satellites in orbit, with each launch placing about 60 more satellites in low Earth orbit. The company is currently offering its beta service in the US, Canada and the UK.
Starlink has drawn some criticism from astronomers who are concerned about the large number of LEO satellites being launched. Starlink’s 4,000 satellites could be joined by 3,000 from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ venture, and 640 designed to serve the UK’s OneWeb, which is aimed at locations north of the 50th parallel this year and around the world by the end of 2022. is to support. That’s 7,500 boxes flying around and making stargazing more challenging.
Other companies, such as the long-running Viasat, are also looking to strengthen their networks, and plan to launch an additional 300 LEO satellites as well. It has struck a deal with Delta that will see it launch in more than 300 of the company’s aircraft.
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