SpaceX has been offering its Starlink satellite internet service for more than a year. An option that is open to aircraft today.
Starlink is a satellite internet connection solution developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company. Built with a constellation of more than 2,000 satellites in orbit around the Earth, the service should make it possible to provide rapid speed in remote areas. Recently, the operation of Starlink was illustrated in Ukraine with the deployment of several antennas in war zones.
But Elon Musk does not want to limit his service to areas that are difficult to access or to areas of war. He is looking for a larger clientele and is turning to all people who do not yet have access to the internet. Thus, the company has just added a new section on its website. Starlink now offers airlines the opportunity to take advantage of their technology to bring a connection to in-flight devices.
Internet on the plane: a feature at a golden price
The aviation world has been trying for years to bring Wi-Fi to planes, but the results are more than mixed so far. When the flights are continental, it is still possible to capture the signal from the 4G antennas on the ground in order to amplify it and send it back to the plane. But things get much more complicated for transatlantic or intercontinental flights.
This is precisely where Starlink comes in. The company offers an antenna system capable of recovering the Internet from satellites in orbit. However, this offer costs a certain price, and Starlink announces on its website that the subscription (in addition to the installation of $150,000 hardware) will cost between $12,000 and $25,000 per month.
Despite this very high price, many airlines should turn to SpaceX solutions. The company offers with its constellation of satellites an unprecedented offer in the world. At the beginning of the year, a first “test” partnership was concluded with the company Hawaiian Airline. Both parties seem satisfied with the offer and the contract should be renewed in the coming months.
Starlink: an expensive but popular solution
With its technology and the satellites already in orbit, SpaceX is able to offer a 350Mbp/s connection. It’s better than many wired installations on the ground in France. With this new offer, Starlink extends its field of action a little more. The company is already available in France for individuals. The offer costs €50 per month. It is also necessary to count 480 € for the purchase of the connection kit.
Despite such prices, Starlink manages to become a competitive operator and the company has just announced that it has crossed the bar of 400,000 customers worldwide. As of September 13, 2022, SpaceX announced 6,500 subscribers in France.