Free ‘sky-fi’ will be available on JSX’s fleet of jets by Xmas
JSX a local airline in the US, has tweeted that it will connect its fleet of Embraer jets to the Starlink satellite service in order to give passengers a free wi-fi service. The service is likely to materialise on phones, tablets and laptops around Christmas 2022. The Starlink service on JSX planes will come at no charge to JSX customers, the jet service said in its statement. In a new departure from free wi-fi, it won’t irritate customers with “logging in or other complexities associated with legacy systems,” it said.
All the satellite firms are competing to put high-speed internet on commercial airlines and Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been in talks for months with airlines to provide Starlink internet in-flight, said a Reuters report.
The airlines are a crucial target in SpaceX’s strategy to win enterprise customers beyond the usual satellite customers who are usually disconnected through their rural location and less influential. The customers of JSX, a semi-private jet service with 100 planes, represent new and possibly more fertile ground. The terminals are likely to be installed by the end of the year, said a JSX spokesperson, who didn’t disclose the price of the deal.
SpaceX has now launched 2,000 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit since 2019 and offers broadband internet service to thousands of customers for $110 (€102) a month using a $599 (€556) terminal dish. SpaceX has sought regulatory approval from the US Federal Communications Commission to operate Starlink on planes and ships and has tested the internet network on Gulfstream jets and military aircraft.