SpaceX’s satellite internet service Starlink will soon be available on select aircraft with Starlink Aviation’s official launch next year, the company has announced. It claims that the service will provide internet speeds of up to 350 Mbps to any aircraft equipped with its Aero Terminal, which it claims is fast enough for video calls, online gaming and other high data rate activities.
It’s certainly a big leap from the typical speeds offered by most onboard Wi-Fi. OneZero reports that most flights use either air-to-ground systems with a maximum of about 10 Mbps per flight (and only work while flying over land), while current satellite systems typically offer between 30 Mbps and 100 Mbps. Since these speeds are by plane, actual speeds may vary depending on the number of passengers using the internet on each flight.
Support pages on SpaceX’s site claim the internet connections will be available during taxi, take-off, land and water flights and landing, with a latency of just 20 ms. “Starlink Aviation Will Have Global Coverage”, and FAQ reads. “Because the satellites are in low Earth orbit, there are always satellites above or nearby to provide a strong signal at high latitudes and in polar regions — unlike geostationary satellites.” Deliveries are expected to start in mid-2023.
During a recent test flight, Aviation reports that Starlink Aviation could provide 100 Mbps internet speed on board. The demonstration was performed on a flight between Burbank and San Jose, California by JSX, which: announced in April it would be one of the first airlines to use the onboard internet service.
in Sept, JSX CEO Alex Wilcox said: he expects to make it available to passengers this month and to have all of the company’s aircraft equipped with the system by the end of the year. Hawaiian Airlines also announced an agreement with Starlink in apriland installation is expected to begin next year.