Starlink, a SpaceX owned satellite communications (satcom) company, has signed its first in-flight Wi-Fi deal. JSX, a semi-private jet service, will be purchasing in-flight Wi-Fi service from Starlink. The deal involves 100 aircraft to be equipped with Starlink terminals. The value of the partnership is unknown at the moment.
Internet on commercial airlines will be one of the biggest advantages of satellite broadband services. Other satcom companies are also trying to do the same. Elon Musk tweeted back in 2021 that Starlink is in talks with multiple airlines to install its terminals on their aircraft for providing in-flight Wi-Fi service.
In a statement, the jet service company JSX has clarified that the in-flight Wi-Fi will not be charged to the JSX customers. Further, JSX said that there would be no legacy systems in place, such as requiring to log in to access the internet and more.
According to a Reuters report, SpaceX has sought regulatory approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to operate Starlink on shipping vessels and airplanes.
Starlink Had Tested In-Flight Wi-Fi Service With Delta
Delta Air Lines, a major U.S. airline, has reportedly tested the services of Starlink for in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity. Musk had already said that he hoped to get the Starlink license for aircraft including Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 because they carry most of the people in commercial flights.
In-flight internet connectivity is one of the best use cases of satcom services. But according to an industry expert, installing a terminal inside the aircraft after it has already been built is an expensive affair for airlines. It is more economical and suited for the business of the airlines when they get the terminal installed while the aircraft is in the process of manufacturing. In the future, we might see every aircraft coming with a satellite terminal to provide internet in the air.