American aerospace conglomerate, SpaceX, is functioning on making its satellite internet network Starlink a provider of that coveted fast in-flight internet connectivity.
According to The Verge, SpaceX’s VP of Starlink and commercial Sales Jonathan Ho feller said the corporate is already in talks with “several” airlines.
“We have our own aviation product in development…we’ve already done some demonstrations so far , and searching to urge that product finalized to be placed on aircraft within the very near future,” Ho feller said at a panel at the Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit on Wednesday,
Starlink is currently offered as a beta service in select areas, mostly within the US and Canada, for USD 99 per month, after a one-time USD 499 equipment fee. the corporate currently has about 1,800 satellites in orbit and is steadily launching new batches, with the goal of reaching ‘near-global coverage’ in 2021.
However, airline connectivity may be a little of a special beast, because it cannot always believe ground stations, for instance, when the aeroplane is flying over the ocean. to supply connectivity there, Starlink’s satellites will need to be ready to hook up with one another using laser links.
Ho feller said this may be possible on a subsequent generation of Starlink’s constellation, which is currently being developed.
In-flight Wi-Fi is notoriously pricy, and typically quite slow. Ho feller said that Starlink are going to be ready to provide a “great experience,” something which current, geostationary systems cannot do. However, he didn’t say when, exactly, this might launch. “To be determined […] Hopefully sooner instead of later,” he said.
As per The Verge, notably, Ben Griffin, VP of mobility services for Starlink’s competitor OneWeb, was also there at the panel, and he said the corporate is targeting an identical service within the ‘middle a part of next year, maybe sooner.’