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The aviation-focused internet service will start at a whopping $150,000 for the hardware itself, which does not include the installation charges. The hardware will include a low-profile Aero Terminal that will fit inside the plane and an electronically steered phased array antenna that protrudes from the surface. The antenna will be able to detect and switch between multiple satellites to maintain optimal signal strength during the flight. They will also provide two network terminals to cover multiple passenger devices without compromising on the speeds.
Users will have to pay another $12,500 to $25,000 per month as service fees for the internet connection, which is promised to deliver up to 350MBPS speeds with a low latency of barely 20ms. This will enable all sorts of internet activities, such as video calls, online gaming, virtual private networks and general music and movie streaming.
The service will maintain these speeds not just during high-altitude flights but also during taxi, takeoff, and landing as long as the equipment is powered on and the antenna has a clear view of the sky. This means that you might expect some disruptions when flying through bad weather conditions. The company plans to start service by the middle of next year for buyers who make reservations right away.
As of now, the company is planning to obtain supplemental type certificates for the following aircraft, including the ERJ-135, ERJ-145, G650, G550, Falcon 2000, G450, Challenger 300, Challenger 350, Global Express, Global 5000, Global 6000, and Global 7500. As you can guess, these are low-passenger jets, with the biggest models capable of carrying less than 100 people. This will make a good testing ground for the service, as most initial adopters are expected to be business-class clients who actually need constant connectivity wherever they go.
Eventually, this service will be rolled out for more traditional passenger planes that are used by most public airlines. The company already demoed the service on a JSX Air flight between Burbank and San Jose, California, with internet speeds remaining above 100MBPS. JSX CEO claimed that the airline is already in the process of enabling the service for its entire fleet and will see the service operational by as early as October.
Hawaiian Airlines has also announced that it will offer Starlink service to passengers starting next year. This was only made possible by a recent approval from the Federal Communications Commission, which enables the company to offer internet service to moving vehicles, including ships and aeroplanes.