FLORIDA (Reuters): The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday authorized Elon Musk s SpaceX to use its Starlink satellite internet network with moving vehicles, green-lighting the company s plan to expand broadband offerings to commercial airlines, shipping vessels and trucks.
Starlink, a fast-growing constellation of internet-beaming satellites in orbit, has long sought to grow its customer base from individual broadband users in rural, internet-poor locations to enterprise customers in the potentially lucrative automotive, shipping and airline sectors.
“Authorizing a new class of terminals for SpaceX s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move,” the FCC said in its authorization published Thursday, echoing plans outlined in SpaceX s request for the approval early last year.
SpaceX has steadily launched some 2,700 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit since 2019 and has amassed hundreds of thousands of subscribers, including many who pay $110 a month for broadband internet using $599 self-install terminal kits.
The Hawthorne, California-based space company has focused heavily in recent years on courting airlines around Starlink for in-flight WiFi, having inked its first such deals in recent months with Hawaiian Airlines and semi-private jet service JSX.
“We re obsessive about the passenger experience,” Jonathan Hofeller, Starlink s commercial sales chief, said at an aviation conference earlier this month. “We re going to be on planes here very shortly, so hopefully passengers are wowed by the experience.”
SpaceX, under an earlier experimental FCC license, has been testing aircraft-tailored Starlink terminals on Gulfstream jets and U.S. military aircraft.
Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, has previously said that the types of vehicles Starlink was expected to be used with pursuant to Thursday s authorization were aircraft, ships, large trucks and RVs. Musk, also the CEO of electric car maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), had said he didn t see “connecting Tesla cars to Starlink, as our terminal is much too big.”
Competition in the low-Earth orbiting satellite internet sector is fierce between SpaceX, satellite operator OneWeb, and Jeff Bezos s Kuiper project, a unit of e-commerce giant Amazon.com (AMZN.O) which is planning to launch the first prototype satellites of its own broadband network later this year.
Best still to come from ‘legend’ Salah after signing new Liverpool deal
LIVERPOOL (AFP): Jurgen Klopp said Mohamed Salah s best years are still ahead of him after the Liverpool star ended speculation over his future by signing a new contract on Friday.
Salah s new deal will reportedly make him the club s highest paid player of all-time on $425,000 a week until 2025. The 30-year-old had entered the final year of his previous contract with talks stalling over his wage demands. But tying Salah down to a new deal was key to Liverpool s hopes of continued success under Klopp.
In five years at Anfield, the Egypt forward has scored 156 goals in 254 appearances. “This is a special treat for our supporters to enjoy their weekend even more. I m sure there will be some celebrations for this news tonight,” Klopp told Liverpool s website. “It s the best decision for us and best decision for him. He belongs with us I think. This is his club now. “I have no doubt Mo s best years are still to come. And that s saying something, because the first five seasons here have been the stuff of legend.”
Since joining from Roma in 2017, Salah has become a fundamental part of reestablishing Klopp s men as serial contenders for domestic and European success. He scored in the 2019 Champions League final victory over Tottenham and was the club s top scorer when they won the Premier League for the first time in 30 years in 2020. Salah has more trophies in his sights after finally puting pen to paper.
“I feel great and excited to win trophies with the club. It s a happy day for everyone,” he said. “It takes a little bit of time, I think, to renew, but now everything is done so we just need to focus on what s next.”
– Worth waiting for –
Last season Salah was crowned Premier League player of the year by both players and football writers after scoring 31 goals that took Klopp s men to the brink of a historic quadruple. Liverpool won the League Cup and FA Cup, but missed out on the Premier League title by a point to Manchester City and lost the Champions League final 1-0 to Real Madrid. “I think you can see in the last five or six years the team was always going (upwards),” Salah added.
“Last season we were close to winning four, but unfortunately in the last week of the season we lost two trophies. “I think we are in a good position to fight for everything. We have new signings as well. “We just need to keep working hard, have a good vision, be positive and go for everything again.”
Liverpool had already lost one key player this summer when Sadio Mane joined Bayern Munich after six years at Anfield. However, Darwin Nunez s arrival from Benfica for a fee that could rise to a club record 100 million euros $105 million) has softened that blow. And Klopp thanked the club s board for their backing in making sure Salah signed on for another three years.
“Of course it has taken a little time but that s absolutely ok and the best things are always worth waiting for anyway,” added Klopp, who himself signed a new deal till 2026 in April. “Mo is one of the best players in the world; it s only normal there are things to sort when you are at his level.”