A constellation of thousands of tiny satellites in low Earth orbit called Starlink, another one of Elon Musk’s brilliant ideas, is set to offer internet access all over Nigeria. The goal is to bring connectivity to remote areas that currently lack it or have little of it, as well as to give the telecom and cable industry’s current near-monopolies some much-needed competition (Morris, 2020).
Challenges of Internet Access in the Airline Industry
Because mobile network base stations must be installed in places that won’t interfere with flight patterns, airports frequently have to choose between providing efficient internet service and ensuring the safety of the aircraft and airports due to the inherent limitations of single geostationary satellites, which orbit the planet at a distance of 35,786 km. As a consequence, the airline sector and its employees had to put up with subpar internet services that cannot support high-data-rate activities like streaming, online gaming, video calls, or other such activities.
Technology use has had a significant impact on how airlines respond to customers’ ever-changing needs over the years. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) identified the technologies and factors that will determine how the aviation industry develops in a recent report titled “Future of the Airline Industry 2035.” The report identified several key trends in the aviation sector, including big data, alternative fuels, and energy sources, new aircraft designs, alternative modes of rapid transit, geospatial technology, robotics and automation, 3D printing, new manufacturing techniques, virtual reality, augmented reality, and cybersecurity.
With this development, the airlines in Nigeria now stand a better chance to leverage Elon Musk’s Starlink to optimize its operations towards:
- Reduce the waiting time of passengers in the queue for checking or buying tickets
- Increase employee productivity
- Increase operational efficiency
- Reduce the cost of operations
- Improve customer care experience through quick response to inquiries.
- Reduce the cost of training because training can now be done successfully through virtual learning.
The introduction of Starlink satellite services in Nigeria is a significantly admired and respected development, particularly for the airline and financial industries, which rely heavily on the effectiveness and accessibility of internet services to maximize profitability. I think that with smart pricing and management, airlines will be able to bring down the price of booking a ticket online and expand their customer base to include people who live in remote areas without easy access to the internet.
IATA. (2021). IATA. Www.iata.org. https://www.iata.org/
Morris, C. (2020, May 18). What The Heck Is Starlink? And What Is DarkSat? CleanTechnica. https://cleantechnica.com/2020/05/18/what-the-heck-is-starlink-and-what-is-darksat/
Starlink. (2019). Starlink. Starlink. https://www.starlink.com/