SpaceX is launching Starlink Aviation, a new service that will make its satellite internet network available on planes.
The company is charging $150,000 for the hardware needed to connect a jet to Starlink, with monthly service costs between $12,500 a month and $25,000 a month. Deliveries to aviation customers are scheduled to “start in mid-2023,” the company said, and reservations require a $5,000 initial payment.
“With Starlink, passengers will be able to access high-speed, low-latency internet from the moment they walk on their plane,” the company tweeted on October 18.
SpaceX advertises “global coverage” through a flat-panel antenna that customers would install on top of an aircraft. SpaceX said it is seeking Federal Aviation Administration certificates for a variety of aircraft, most of which are typically owned and operated as private jets.
As for the quality of the service, SpaceX says Starlink aviation customers can expect speeds up to 350 Megabits per second, “enabling all passengers to access streaming-capable internet at the same time.”
“Passengers can engage in activities previously not functional in flight, including video calls, online gaming, virtual private networks and other high data rate activities,” SpaceX said on its Starlink website.
SpaceX won’t install the antennas, however, noting that customers “will have to arrange the installation with a provider.”
But the company’s aviation service does not require a long-term contract, with SpaceX saying “all plans include unlimited data” and the “hardware is under warranty for as long as you subscribe to the service.”