Successful video call from one flying plane to another one in air says Elon Musk

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SpaceX is expanding its satellite internet unit’s foray into in-flight WiFi services. The Elon Musk-owned company has rolled out Starlink Aviation service, offering customers a $150,000 airplane antenna amid mounting competition for airborne connectivity. “Internet in airplanes will feel the same as if you were accessing the Internet at home!” tweeted Musk. “We even did a Starlink video call on one airplane aloft to Starlink on another, far away, airplane aloft and it worked perfectly with no lag!” he added in another tweet.

Starlink Aviation will begin delivering terminals in mid-2023, the company said on its website, with reservations requiring a $5,000 payment. The company claims that each terminal can deliver up to 350Mbps, fast enough for video calls and online gaming. “With latency as low as 20 ms, passengers can engage in activities previously not functional in flight, including video calls, online gaming, virtual private networks and other high data rate activities,” says the company.
Cost of in-flight internet
Starlink, SpaceX’s growing network of thousands of internet satellites, will charge customers seeking broadband internet on private jets between $12,500 to $25,000 a month for the service, on top of a one-time $150,000 hardware cost, the company said on its website.
As for the coverage, the company says that Starlink is positioned to connect passengers wherever the flight routes evolve.
Taking on the likes of Inmarsat, ViaSat
Companies building low-Earth orbiting satellite networks beaming broadband internet, like SpaceX’s Starlink and Britain-backed satellite operator OneWeb, are racing to court airlines and private jet services in a market dominated by companies such as Inmarsat and its rival ViaSat, which are planning to merge.
Earlier this week, OneWeb announced an agreement with in-flight broadband giant Panasonic Avionics, which offers service to some 70 airlines, to market and sell OneWeb’s broadband service to airlines by mid-2023.
Britain’s competition regulator last week referred to Viasat’s planned takeover of rival Inmarsat for an in-depth investigation over concerns that the tie-up could hamper new competition in the aviation connectivity market and increase prices for airlines’on-board Wi-Fi.
SpaceX plans to offer Starlink internet connectivity to Hawaiian Airlines planes next year. The company offers the service for maritime customers and RVs, and already has tens of thousands of individual consumers paying $110 a month with a $599 terminal.
(With agency inputs)

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