Starlink satellite internet could soon be available on cruise ships operated by Elon Musk
The next time you take a cruise, you could be able to use Starlink, the high-speed internet service run by Elon Musk and SpaceX. According to PC Mag(opens in new tab), the cruise line Royal Caribbean has requested that Starlink be permitted for use on moving vehicles in a file to the US Federal Communications Commission(opens in new tab). Working with Space X Services Inc., we think we have uncovered a truly next-generation solution for our vessels, the company’s vice president John Maya writes in the filing.
Starlink is currently accessible in more than 20 nations, including portions of the US, UK, and Australia. In an effort to keep people online in the war-torn nation, the service just added Ukraine to the regions it services. If you search online for Starlink internet complaints, you’ll find a ton of them, from those who simply don’t like the company’s contentious CEO to astronomers worried about the potential harm it could do to the night sky. However, the most common complaint from users is that it’s relatively simple to block the service’s signal; in fact, some have claimed that all that stood between them and Musk’s satellite Wi-Fi was a single tree(opens in new tab).
However, on the open sea, obstructions like trees and other potential signal-blockers wouldn’t be an issue, and Starlink might allow Royal Caribbean to provide its passengers with a vastly enhanced internet connection. Royal Caribbean currently makes use of the internet service Voom. Although we were unable to locate any official information regarding its speed, users have generally reported download speeds of at most 5Mbps (via HighSeasCrusing(opens in new tab)).
In contrast, Royal Caribbean would likely use Starlink Business, the company’s commercial arm, which promises speeds of between 150Mbps and 500Mbps. Given that this connection would need to be shared by an entire ship, it’s possible that Royal Caribbean would be seeking speeds at the higher end of that range or even faster. If the FFC grants Royal Caribbean’s request and the implementation of Starlink on its ships is successful, such partnerships might not be limited to cruise ships; Starlink might end up being utilized on trains and even airplanes.