SpaceX moves to beam Starlink internet into trucks, boats, and aircraft

Starlink could go mobile , if the FCC approves

SpaceX is seeking regulatory approval to connect its rapidly growing network of internet-beaming Starlink satellites to cars, trucks, shipping boats, and aircraft. The request, filed last Friday with the Federal Communications Commission, marks SpaceX’s biggest step yet toward connecting Starlink to the automotive sector, a potentially lucrative line of business that would expand the company’s current stationary offerings from rural homes.

The March 5th FCC filing asked for “a blanket license authorizing operation” of Starlink terminals on so-called Earth Stations in Motion an umbrella term for cars, trucks, maritime vessels, and aircraft. “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 U.S. port, or while on a domestic or international flight,” the filing read.

Smaller passenger vehicles may have to wait. “Not connecting Tesla cars to Starlink, as our terminal is much too big,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday, responding to an article on the FCC filing. “This is for aircraft, ships, large trucks & RVs.”

With over 1,000 satellites in space, SpaceX’s Starlink has at least 10,000 users through an invite-only beta program it started last year. The beta program is currently aimed at rural parts of the US that have little to no internet connectivity. A Starlink kit with an antenna and router costs $499, plus $99 per month for speeds around 70 to 130 Mbps. Last month, SpaceX started accepting refundable $99 Starlink preorders for “a limited number of users per coverage area,” which so far includes parts of the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom.


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