Published: Sat, April 06, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Soon, Amazon will launch over 3000 satellites for 'global' internet

Soon, Amazon will launch over 3000 satellites for 'global' internet

The ambitious project, codenamed "Project Kuiper", was spotted by GeekWire in numerous public filings from the Washington, DC-based Kuiper Systems LLC.

Project Kuiper will comprise of satellites at three distinct elevations: there will be 784 satellites at 367 miles, 1,296 satellites at 379 miles, and 1,156 satellites at 391 miles.

Elon Musk's rocket company, SpaceX, has been reported to be raising $500 million to launch as many as 12,000 satellites, as part of its constellation called Starlink. Amazon has previously announced its cloud business will build a network of satellite facilities on Earth and Bezos' space venture Blue Origin continues to move closer to launching space tourists. Its confirmation will make Amazon the latest FAANG member to take its terrestrial internet ambitions into space. One method of doing that being explored by multiple companies involves putting thousands of small satellites into orbit above Earth. In March 2018, SoftBank-backed OneWeb raised US$1.25 billion to launch 650 satellites.

The long-term project will cater to people globally who lack basic access to broadband internet, Amazon said in a statement on Thursday.

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Amazon is entering the satellite-broadband race.

The network would offer "low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world", a spokesperson told CNBC, presumably allowing them to join Amazon Prime also. Together, these satellites should cover roughly 95 per cent of the Earth's population. "We anticipate partnering on this initiative with organizations that share this common vision".

In February this year, OneWeb launched its first six satellites. And, wouldn't you know it, Amazon launched AWS Ground Station for space-to-ground communications a year ago.

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