SpaceX rolls out Starlink satellite internet service to private jets for $12,500-$25,000 per month
In June 2021, SpaceX revealed the company was developing a product specifically for aviation. Elon Musk’s space company also said that it was in discussions with multiple airlines to offer in-flight WiFi.
Then in September, Jonathan Hofeller, vice president of commercial sales, disclosed at the Airline Passenger Experience Association conference in Long Beach, California that the company was testing Starlink satellite internet on several aircraft, with the goal to offer the service to airlines “as soon as possible.”
Fast forward a year later, SpaceX makes good on its promise. The company announced Tuesday it has rolled out aviation-specific Starlink satellite internet service. The space giant added that it’s looking to expand further into the inflight WiFi market in the near future.
Musk also took to social media to announce the launch. In a post on Twitter, Musk said:
“Internet in airplanes will feel same as if you were accessing Internet at home!”
Internet in airplanes will feel same as if you were accessing Internet at home! https://t.co/Mfl2ixYnJH
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 19, 2022
SpaceX is charging an upfront cost of $150,000 for the hardware needed to connect a jet to Starlink, with monthly service costs between $12,500 a month to $25,000 a month. SpaceX’s latest offering is a direct challenge to Gogo, a leading inflight internet and entertainment provider.
However, William Blair, an analyst with Louie DiPalma said the Starlink product “appears to be too big and too expensive to challenge” Unlike SpaceX Starlink, Gogo is positioned in the small-to-midsize business jet market.
SpaceX says its Starlink aviation customers can expect speeds up to 350 Megabits per second, “enabling all passengers to access streaming-capable internet at the same time.”
“With Starlink, passengers will be able to access high-speed, low-latency internet from the moment they walk on their plane,” SpaceX said in a tweet.
“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.
According to its website, SpaceX advertises “global coverage” through a flat-panel antenna that customers would install on top of an aircraft. The company also said it is seeking Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certificates for a variety of aircraft, most of which are typically owned and operated as private jets.