On-plane WiFi: Elon Musk’s Starlink Now Offers Satellite Internet For Commercial Flights

Starlink’s satellites will be connected by lasers, so that planes will be able to have WiFi even if they fly over the sea. Elon Musk’s company is already negotiating with several airlines to implement it.

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16, 2021

2 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

With each new initiative, Elon Musk proves that the sky is not the limit for him and now he seeks to solve a big problem for travelers: having WiFi on the plane . His company Starlink announced that it is ready to offer satellite internet on commercial flights and they are negotiating with several airlines to provide the service in the near future.

With 1,635 satellites in orbit, Starlink currently offers internet in hard-to-reach and rural areas in several countries, including Mexico .

A few days ago, in a panel at the Connected Aviation Intelligence summit, Jonathan Hofeller, Vice President of Starlink, revealed that Starlink was in talks with commercial airlines to provide them with mobile internet service.

“We have our own aviation service under development… we have already done some demonstrations to date, and we expect that product to be finalized for implementation on aircraft in the very near future ,” said Hofeller.

Elon Musk’s company , which is part of SpaceX, explained that the new WiFi service for commercial flights will require the use of airline antennas. These would be similar to those used on the ground, but with better connectivity for airplanes in flight.

The satellites will be linked via lasers , so the signal will not need to bounce off ground stations. In this way, when airplanes fly over remote areas, such as oceans and deserts, they can continue to receive the internet.

Hofeller clarified that this technology is not available at the moment, but it will be part of the next generation of Starlink satellites, which are already being developed.

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