Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Goes Free For Flights

Both the companies are currently in their initial stages of implementation and Starlink’s satellite receiver will only start appearing on select Hawaiian Airlines vehicles in 2023. Starlink satellite internet will only be available on long-distance flights, as the company has excluded its fleet of Boeing 717 aircraft that ferry passengers between the Hawaiian Islands. However, the company promises that Starlink’s in-flight internet service will be fast enough for video streaming and playing multi-player games. Whether it will be capable of cloud-based game streaming remains to be seen.

As for SpaceX, the company is leveraging its laser mesh network formed by internet-beaming Starlink satellites, of which there are over 2,000 in the low-Earth orbit. This internet service competes against Gogo and ViaSat, two players that currently dominate the in-flight Wi-Fi service provider segment. However, Musk’s brainchild already has a few critical advantages. Starlink satellites are positioned in lower orbits and offer a denser network, which means the internet speeds will be higher with minimal disruptions when flying across continents.

Additionally, SpaceX offers an in-house and extremely reliable infrastructure of vehicles that can inject more satellites into the orbit at any given time, a luxury rivals don’t have at their disposal. Ever since SpaceX announced plans of offering in-flight Wi-Fi services to airline clients in 2021, the company has modified its antenna hardware for a wide range of airplanes. Even though bandwidth remains a mystery, Elon Musk promised half-gigabit connectivity in a tweet he posted in 2021.

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