Elon Musk’s SpaceX secured its first contract with an airline on Thursday to provide in-flight wireless internet via its Starlink satellite network.
According to Reuters, the business has reached an arrangement with the semi-private aircraft operator JSX that will see 100 flights outfitted with Starlink terminals. According to JSX, the first Starlink-connected airliner will take off by the end of the year.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk keeps his promises and has been in talks with numerous airlines for months about in-flight wifi technology, as the company attempts to bring high-speed internet to commercial planes. The partnership’s value has yet to be announced.
In general, in-flight communication systems employ two types of technologies. The first is the air-to-ground technology, in which an internal antenna picks up signals from the nearest ground tower during flight to enable internet connectivity inside. The connection is normally smooth unless the airplane is flying over a huge area with no towers, such as a large ocean.
The second type of technology is traditional ground-based technology, in which satellites are utilized to link to ground stations and the airplane communicates to it via a satellite antenna. It functions in the same way that a satellite TV transmission does.
SpaceX has long sought to disrupt the industry for in-flight wifi access. A number of airlines now provide in-flight WiFi, allowing passengers to stay connected to the internet for work or enjoyment. It enables the user to make a phone call while flying.
Since 2019, SpaceX has launched approximately 2,000 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit, and while the network is not yet fully operational, it provides broadband internet service to thousands of customers in a few countries for $110 per month via a $599 terminal dish roughly the size of a pizza box.
According to reports, Delta Air Lines has revealed that it is testing Elon Musk’s satellite Wi-Fi service in an effort to boost wifi connectivity onboard its flight.
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