Royal Caribbean taps SpaceX's Starlink for internet on its ships

SpaceX Starlink internet terminal next to CEO Elon Musk.

The Starlink satellite internet service from Elon Musk’s SpaceX has more than 400,000 global subscribers.Getty Images

  • Royal Caribbean is launching Starlink satellite internet across its fleet.

  • The company said installation of the service will be complete by April 2023.

  • SpaceX just received FCC approval to use its service on moving vehicles in June.

Royal Caribbean announced on Tuesday that it plans to launch Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service on its full cruise fleet.

The company will be the first in the cruise industry to install the service on its ships. It said that the satellite internet will be deployed immediately and that it anticipates installation across its cruise ships will be finished by April 2023.

The company said it performed a trial on one of its ships, Freedom of the Seas, and determined that Starlink performed well enough to adopt the internet service across its entire fleet. Previously, the company had allowed customers to purchase VOOM internet while on board its ships for about $19.99 per day, per device. The cruise industry has historically poor WiFi options for guests.

“This technology will provide game-changing internet connectivity onboard our ships, enhancing the cruise experience for guests and crew alike,” Jason Liberty, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Group, said in the press release.  “It will improve and enable more high-bandwidth activities like video streaming as well as activities like video calls.”

In June, the cruise company urged the Federal Communications Commission to approve SpaceX request for permission to use Starlink onboard moving vehicles, including ships and RVs. Less than a month later, the FCC approved the satellite internet service for vehicles in motion.

SpaceX has also been negotiating with several airlines to provide in-flight WiFi, including Delta Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, and a private jet service. Earlier this year, Musk said he’d tested out Starlink on his private jet.

Last week, Musk announced SpaceX was also teaming up with T-Mobile to offer its users access to Starlink satellites as soon as next year.

Starlink currently has a user base of over 400,000 subscribers worldwide. The company has a network of more than 2,500 satellites in lower orbit. The service is designed to deliver high-speed internet of up to 200 Mbps to customers in rural areas and higher latitudes.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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