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SpaceX Plans To Add Laser Links To Its Internet From Space For In-Flight Wi-Fi
By Alexa Heah, 11 Jun 2021
Image via SpaceX
New reports have surfaced that Elon Musk’s SpaceX is gearing up to offer in-flight Wi-Fi services to aircraft through its Starlink satellite network.
Jonathan Hofeller, vice president of Starlink and commercial sales, told reporters the space company was in talks with commercial airlines to adopt Starlink’s internet service, as per Insider.
“We have our own aviation product in development … we’ve already done some demonstrations to date, and looking to get that product finalized to be put on aircraft in the very near future,” he said.
Currently, Starlink mainly offers its internet services to rural and underserved communities. It beams Wi-Fi to these communities through its 1,635 low-Earth orbit satellites.
With its new aircraft Wi-Fi service, it will be making use of airline antennas, which work similarly to those used on Earth, but with better connectivity for airplanes in flight.
The firm plans to connect each Starlink satellite with laser links, which don’t require bouncing off ground stations. This would mean that airplanes flying over remote areas, such as oceans or deserts, will still be able to receive in-flight internet.
Here’s hoping that when travel resumes, SpaceX will be the answer to faster, cheaper Wi-Fi on flights.
[via Insider, cover image via SpaceX]
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