Speed Reads

streaming in the sky

Elon Musk's Starlink to provide in-flight WiFi for Hawaiian Airlines

Elon Musk-owned aerospace company SpaceX announced a deal on Monday to provide Hawaiian Airlines flights with its Starlink satellite internet service, The Verge reports. The company recently made a similar deal with charter carrier JSX.

Both carriers said they're planning to offer the Starlink-provided in-flight WiFi for free, "which is both a semi-miraculous fact and a sign of hope that free WiFi is becoming the industry standard," writes The Verge. And while not an official deal, Delta Air Lines has meanwhile begun running "exploratory" Starlink tests on its carriers.

Starlink has considered offering in-flight WiFi for some time now, The Verge reports, noting the market, dominated by slow-moving Viasat and Gogo, is currently ripe for disruption. At the moment, Starlink is currently promising download speeds up to 200 mb/s.

There is, of course, still a lot to work out — "but the current in-flight bar is definitely low enough to make it easy for Starlink (or someone else) to do better," considering there's currently nothing out there that comes remotely close to the strength of home internet or even that of a coffee shop, The Verge writes.

As for implementation timelines, JSX has said it has already begun testing the service with plans to roll it out it later this year, while Hawaiian Airlines has said it's "in the initial stages of implementation and expect[s] to begin installing the product on select aircraft next year." Read more at The Verge.