Elon Musk wants to deliver wifi to flights via his Starlink satellites

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Elon Musk wants to bring internet to passenger airplanes through his Starlink broadband satellite network.

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The SpaceX CEO tweeted that his company was talking to US airlines about providing in-flight WiFi internet to its customers, urging his followers to ask airlines to come onboard.

“Yes, we are talking to airlines about setting up Starlink. Please tell them if you want it on your airliner,” the entrepreneur told a follower when asked about the possibility.


“Low latency ~ half gigabit connectivity over the air!”

Mr Musk did not mention how much the service would cost passengers, as most in-flight WiFi packages have to be paid for.

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Starlink is SpaceX’s Internet network powered by thousands of satellites that can provide high-speed connections to consumers anywhere on Earth.

SpaceX has launched 1,740 Starlink satellites into orbit so far, and the service already has more than 100,000 users in 14 countries participating in a $99-a-month beta test.

The airline currently works with satellite broadband providers, but with Starlink’s satellites in orbit much closer to Earth it can increase the inlet speed available to passengers.

Earlier this year, Mr Musk tweeted that testing had focused on Boeing 737, Airbus A320 and Gulfstream planes “because they serve the most people.”

SpaceX vice president Jonathan Hoffler has said that the company was in talks with “several” airlines about adding Starlink WiFi, and they had an “aviation product in development”.

In March, SpaceX filed a Federal Communications Commission filing seeking regulatory approval to connect Starlink satellites to cars, trucks, cargo ships and aircraft.

Starlink’s beta program is currently targeted for rural areas of the US, with an antenna and router that costs $499 and offers speeds between 70 and 130 Mbps.

In July, California Highway Patrol stopped a motorist who had a Starlink dish mounted on the hood of his Toyota Prius car.

“Yes, it is indeed illegal to put a satellite dish on the hood of your vehicle,” the CHP’s Facebook post said.

“This safety is about the people. These are the real stories of Highway Patrol. Safe travels for all.”

Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Elon Musk

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