Amazon to launch "Project Kuiper" for satellite based broadband

Amazon to launch "Project Kuiper" for satellite based broadband

Amazon plans to launch up to 3,236 satellites in a low-earth orbit to provide global internet coverage, according to GeekWire:

The filings lay out a plan 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.

There's a race going on behind the scenes, with several other tech startups and aerospace giants planning similar constellations of satellite based internet. If Amazon can succeed in winning this race, it'll be sure to capture a huge market - especially with users in rural areas or where infrastructure is limited. Recent developments in the commercial space launch industry mean that it's cheaper than ever to launch large numbers of micro-satellites, so expect to see other similar projects being announced in the coming years.

If this works, it will limit the need for digging telecom channels, running underground cables and landline infrastructure. We've still got to see large scale adoption of 5G telecoms, but between these two technologies we may finally see an end to residential landlines (eventually!).

Amazon are no stranger to providing space services, as they already have a ground station network that anyone can access via the AWS platform.


AWS Ground Station (Image courtesy of Amazon)
AWS already powers a huge chunk of the web via their compute services and CEO Jeff Bezos runs a spaceflight services company called Blue Origin, so if anyone can make this work, Amazon stand a good chance of succeeding.
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Ian Cunningham
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