SpaceX Testing Starlink Wi-Fi on Aircraft for In-Flight Internet
SpaceX is currently testing its high-speed satellite broadband service, Starlink, aboard several aircraft — reports Bloomberg.
Jonathan Hofeller, Vice President of Starlink and Commercial Sales at SpaceX, says the company is looking to offer in-flight internet to airlines “as soon as possible.”
The news comes after SpaceX CEO Elon Musk confirmed in October that the company was in talks with several airlines over the prospect of offering in-flight broadband and Wi-Fi on commercial airplanes.
When SpaceX confirmed plans to take Starlink mobile earlier in the year, the company made it clear it would be targeting airlines as potential enterprise customers. The move puts SpaceX’s Starlink in direct competition with other in-flight internet providers like Viasat Inc., Intelsat SA, and Telesat Corp.
Speaking on a panel at the Airline Passenger Experience Association gathering in Long Beach, California earlier today, Hofeller reiterated that Starlink is still in talks with a number of airlines, adding that trials are underway.
Starlink is a high-speed satellite internet project from SpaceX, specially designed to service remote locations and (affordably) bridge the connectivity gap across the world. The service finally made it out of beta last month, and ultimately plans to have over 30,000 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) for global coverage.