- Amazon is looking to launch 3,236 satellites to solve the world's broadband problems.
- It isn't the first company working on such an initiative.
- There is no information on when the project is expected to become a reality.
Amazon is looking to provide broadband internet to the world from outer space. The company will launch thousands of satellites - 3236 to be precise, to help make broadband connectivity more accessible to consumers. Let's face it, not everyone has good broadband connectivity, and no matter how many new plans or lines are laid, there will still be areas that don’t have access to good internet.
The effort from Amazon is code-named Project Kuiper. Last September, there were reports that Amazon was planning a “big, audacious space project” involving satellites. It looks like all the talk was about Project Kuiper. It could take years before the project is up and running however Amazon isn’t alone in this race. SpaceX, OneWeb and other players are working on offering similar solutions to customers. Amazon’s filings made with the International Telecommunications Union reveal that the company plans to “put 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit — including 784 satellites at an altitude of 367 miles (590 kilometers); 1,296 satellites at a height of 379 miles (610 kilometers); and 1,156 satellites in 391-mile (630-kilometer) orbits”.
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Amazon confirmed to GeekWire that Project Kuiper is one of its projects. Amazon said, “Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world. This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. We look forward to partnering on this initiative with companies that share this common vision.”
The GeekWire report goes on to say that according to the UN, almost 4 billion people around the world are underserved when it comes to internet access. With the growing dependency on the internet, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure seamless connectivity to ensure business growth and sustained development.
Speaking of the competition that Amazon will face, SpaceX has already launched its first two prototype satellites. This is for its Starlink broadband data constellation. It is projected to grow to more than 12,000 satellites in low Earth orbit. The SpaceX prototype satellites were launched last year.
OneWeb launched its first six broadband satellites in February 2019. It plans to put hundreds more in place over the coming two years. According to GeekWire, “Last month, the consortium announced a $1.25 billion funding round, led by SoftBank Group, to support the ramp-up in operations”.
Thanks to Amazon Web Services, the company is already in tune with the intricacies and workings of the world wide web. The company hasn't said when the service is expected to start or how much consumers will have to pay for it.