Qatar to install Starlink’s blazing-fast inflight Wi-Fi — for free

Staying connected while flying has always been a challenge, with slow and expensive Wi-Fi options being the norm. However, that’s about to change for passengers flying with Qatar Airways. The Doha-based carrier recently announced that it will be teaming up with Starlink, an arm of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, to provide high-speed inflight Wi-Fi on its planes. This partnership will bring some serious upgrades to the inflight connectivity experience for Qatar Airways passengers.

Starlink is a satellite internet provider that offers download speeds of up to 350 megabits per second. This is fast enough to support activities like gaming, VPN access, and streaming. What’s even better is that Qatar Airways passengers will be able to enjoy this high-speed Wi-Fi for free. Connecting to the network will require just one click to accept the terms and conditions, with no separate account needed. This makes it incredibly easy and convenient for passengers to stay connected during their flight.

Currently, Qatar Airways offers two Wi-Fi providers on its existing fleet. Most planes feature the Super Wi-Fi provided by Inmarsat Wi-Fi using GX satellites. This Wi-Fi is available for $10 with no data caps, but the speeds are not as fast as what Starlink offers. Starlink is currently available on all Boeing 777, 787-9 Dreamliner, and Airbus A350 jets. However, Qatar’s Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners and Airbus A380s feature a slower Wi-Fi service powered by SITA OnAir.

Qatar Airways will become the largest airline yet to partner with Starlink, which is an exciting development for travelers. The airline has not provided a timeline for when the first plane will be connected to SpaceX’s satellites, but it is currently in the pre-launch phase of deploying Starlink. It’s unclear which aircraft and routes will have Starlink Wi-Fi, as Qatar Airways has stated that it will be available “on specified aircraft and routes,” while Starlink’s vice president of commercial sales said it will support the entire Qatar Airways fleet.

Starlink Wi-Fi has already been installed or is being installed on five carriers worldwide, including JSX, Hawaiian Airlines, airBaltic, and Zipair. During a demonstration flight with JSX earlier this year, I had the opportunity to test these blazing-fast speeds. I was able to stream content, join Zoom meetings, and download music simultaneously on five devices without any issues. Real-world download speeds reached over 100 megabits per second, and the low latency ensured that there was no buffering while watching movies and TV shows.

As speedy inflight internet access becomes an expected amenity for passengers, it is hoped that more airlines will partner with Starlink. It is the fastest and most reliable satellite internet provider that has been tested, and it has the potential to revolutionize the inflight connectivity experience. Qatar Airways’ partnership with Starlink will undoubtedly enhance its relevance with passengers who need to stay connected during their flight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *