HomeSpace FlightHow SpaceX's Starlink Maritime launch will affect cruise lines and satellite providers...

How SpaceX’s Starlink Maritime launch will affect cruise lines and satellite providers (op-ed)

Connection and WiFi on board cruise ships has been notoriously slow since its inception. In the same way as with airplanes, cruise ships have traditionally used gyroscopic satellites that have to recalibrate the signal every time they move. A ship must also have a direct “line of sight” to a satellite in order to exchange data, which isn’t always the case. Due to the height of the surrounding mountains, cruise ships passing through the renowned Norwegian fjords, for example, may experience satellite signal loss. This leaves a rabble of angry passengers. 

Now Elon Musk’s SpaceX has announced the availability of its Starlink service for maritime vessels. This follows the launch of thousands of SpaceX satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), promising incredibly low-latency IP networks with download speeds of up to 350 mbps. Although many Starlink customers also reside in cities and other areas with good connection, the company’s primary goal is to connect communities that currently lack internet access or have inadequate connectivity.

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