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Fri, Oct 21, 2022

Starlink Aviation Launches Service

350 Mbps Speeds and Unlimited Data Heads Up the In-Flight Internet Competition Once Again

SpaceX has launched the aeronautical version of its Starlink internet service, offering high-speed, low-latency internet for aircraft at a low, low price of…$12,500 to $25,000 per month. 

While the service may seem somewhat exorbitant to the average person’s internet service, the world of business aviation is a different ecosystem entirely, and Starlink Aviation’s pricing is not too far from the average in the sector. The service itself is highly competitive, entering the market with a top speed of 350 Mbps among an industry still lagging behind with regular broadband speeds from 20 to 100 mbps. Latency is said to be as low as 20 ms while in flight, and all plans through Starlink will include unlimited data by default. 

Installation will require customers to pay a one-time hardware cost of $150,000 for the necessary equipment. Once complete, Starlink will enable an aerial internet experience hardly removed from a terrestrial one. In-flight video calls, VPNs, streaming, even gaming is on the table for passengers around the world.

Plans include unlimited data, and hardware is under warranty for the length of the subscription, with no long-term contract required. 

SpaceX’s recent demo with regional outfit JSX proved out the system at 30,000 ft for speeds around the upper end of the norm today, around 100 mbps. That speed seems to be the going rate for satellite-based internet at the moment, with competing systems eyeing performance along the same 350 mbps peak as Starlink. So far, only Delta Airlines has shown an interest in the service, with smaller outfits like Hawaiian Airlines and JSX signing on to Starlink Aviation. 



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