IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

SpaceX to offer on-the-go internet service for vehicles

The service will cater only to aircraft, ships, large trucks and RVs, for now

SpaceX building with a launch pad behind it

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to connect its Starlink satellite internet service to moving vehicles, including aircraft, ships, large trucks, and RVs. 

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation consisting of thousands of small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO). As of 2021, SpaceX has launched 1,035 Starlink satellites into space and plans to launch up to 60 more per Falcon 9 flight.

These tiny satellites, which are in beta phase, work in tandem with ground transceivers to deliver high-speed internet access to consumers worldwide.

SpaceX is now working on an antenna that will “expand the range of broadband capabilities available to moving vehicles throughout the United States and to moving vessels and aircraft worldwide,” said David Goldman, SpaceX's director of satellite policy.

Goldman continued: "The volume of traffic flowing over the world's networks has exploded. No longer are users willing to forego connectivity while on the move, whether driving a truck across the country, moving a freighter from Europe to a US port, or while on a domestic or international flight."

SpaceX has also requested the FCC issue it a “blanket license” to commence its operations. FCC's terms don’t require applicants to submit a precise or maximum number of deployed user terminals, which is why SpaceX didn’t pin down the number of mobile terminals it plans to build.

Musk tweeted that the new antennas won’t connect Tesla vehicles to Starlink, citing that the “terminal is much too big.” 

“This is for aircraft, ships, large trucks & RVs,” posted Musk.

SpaceX hasn't revealed details on the mobile Starlink terminals’ design, but Goldman says the terminals would be “electrically identical” to existing terminals, and users can mount them conveniently on vehicles, vessels, and aircraft.

Starlink’s current consumer setup kits cost $499 and users will also pay a $99 monthly service fee. The data speeds vary from 50Mbps to 150Mbps, but Musk says the data speeds will double to 300Mbps by the end of 2021. 

Featured Resources

Meeting the future of education with confidence

How the switch to digital learning has created an opportunity to meet the needs of every student, always

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Cloud Pak® for Watson AIOps with Instana

Cost savings and business benefits

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

Technology reimagined

Why PCaaS is perfect for modern schools

Free Download

Recommended

Static IP vs dynamic IP: What’s the difference?
Network & Internet

Static IP vs dynamic IP: What’s the difference?

25 Feb 2022
What is HTTP error 400 and how do you fix it?
Network & Internet

What is HTTP error 400 and how do you fix it?

11 Feb 2022
Equinix to help DISH build out its 5G network
5G

Equinix to help DISH build out its 5G network

18 Nov 2021
What are cookies
Security

What are cookies

17 Nov 2021

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

7 Jun 2022
Delivery firm Yodel disrupted by cyber attack
cyber attacks

Delivery firm Yodel disrupted by cyber attack

21 Jun 2022
Salaries for the least popular programming languages surge as much as 44%
Development

Salaries for the least popular programming languages surge as much as 44%

23 Jun 2022