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25 Oct 2022
In 2023, SpaceX Will Launch Starlink Aviation
One year after the historic launch of Starlink, SpaceX announced today that its first generation of satellites will be fully operational in 2023 as part of Starlink Aviation, the company's new commercial air service scheduled to launch in June 2023 from LAX.
According to the company, passengers can access high-speed, low-latency Wi-Fi through the service "from the moment they walk on their plane."
Speeds as high as 350Mbps will be available with latency as low as 20ms, enabling you to use the internet and perform tasks as complicated as video calls or even video games.
In contrast to other in-flight Wi-Fi services, which rely on slow and unreliable connections to the ground, Starlink can offer global connectivity due to its constellation of over 3,000 satellites.
"Since the satellites are moving in low-earth orbit, there are always satellites overhead or nearby to provide a strong signal at high latitudes and in polar regions — unlike geostationary satellites," SpaceX commented.
Satellite services currently offer speeds between 30Mbps and 100Mbps, with actual speeds decreasing based on the number of passengers on the service. Additionally, geostationary satellites are at higher altitudes, which causes the services to be unsuitable for various uses due to their higher latency.
A ground-to-air system's maximum speed is usually around 10Mbps per flight. Split across many passengers; users often experience internet performance worse than dial-up.
Several Starlink Aviation-compatible carriers, like Hawaiian Airlines and JSX, have expressed interest in early adoption. A recent test flight conducted by JSX found speeds of 100Mbps over the Western Pacific.
In July, the Federal Communications Commission granted SpaceX's request to provide its Starlink service to vehicles, including boats, trucks, and RVs.
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