WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
This is disruption in motion, and it won’t be long before other airlines and regions of the world ditch their current telco’s and sign up with Elon Musk’s Starlink.
SpaceX’s space based communications company StarLink, which over the years has been trying to connect the world by launching tens of thousands of low earth orbit satellites and delivering internet speeds of up to 500Mbps, has found a new customer for its satellite-powered internet, inking a deal with independent air carrier JSX to offer onboard Wi-Fi to customers later this year.
That makes the airline the first to carry SpaceX’s Starlink internet service, as the private space company continues shoring up the technology by launching more satellites into orbit.
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After launching the first set of satellites in 2019, SpaceX has been rapidly building out its constellation and networks and selling it in an attempt to blanket the planet in high-speed internet. There are currently around 2,000 Starlink satellites in orbit and plans to deploy many thousands more, though the program isn’t without its detractors decrying their contribution to pollution of the night sky.
In any case, SpaceX continues to push the service and even recently introduced a premium option for high-end users. It has also been working on ways to implement access on commercial aircraft, testing the service with several aircraft over the past year or so, including those from Delta Airlines, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal this week.
But JSX will be the first cab off the rank as they say, and says the service will be free for every customer onboard when it launches later this year. The airline bills itself as a “hop-on jet service,” functioning as a short-distance carrier offering 30-seat charter flights between US cities including Las Vegas, Phoenix and Oakland.
And while this is a first for both companies by penning this deal StarLink has now putt incumbents in the communications sector on notice that this is just the start of its plans for literal world domination as it continues to scale up.
Source: JSX (Twitter)