Amazon plans to invest $10 billion to build satellite infrastructure

Published: July 31, 2020

The Federal Communications Commission declared that Amazon might build its ambitious satellite internet system that is going to compete with SpaceX’s Starlink network. Amazon has also announced that it is going to invest more than $10 billion for this purpose in the years to come.

Highlights

The project by the e-commerce giant, named as Kuiper, would see the company launch 3236 satellites into the low earth habit. The satellites will be deployed in five phases with broadband service beginning once it has 578 satellites in the orbit. The company has already got authorization from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) since the federal regulator gave permission in the public interest.

Impact

According to Amazon, there are too many places where broadband service is unreliable or where it is not there at all. Kuiper is going to change this entire scenario. The investment will also create new jobs and infrastructure around the US that will help close this gap. The company is yet to decide on a timeline for Kuiper project and the satellites are also yet to be designed completely.

Significance for the Other Market Players

This is going to give tough competition to Space X’s Starlink Network of high-speed internet satellites. These satellites are being launched by the company owned by Elon Musk over the period of the past year. By now, the company has launched more than 500 satellites into the orbit and it is expected to begin offering direct-to-consumer broadband service by the end of this year. Amazon’s project is going to be a direct competitor to this.

Amazon in Space Reach

Amazon has gradually increased its reach in the space industry, most recently setting up a new unit called Aerospace and Satellite Solutions under Amazon Web Services division. The CEO of Amazon also runs another separate entity known as Blue Origin that is developing next-generation rockets and spacecraft such as a lunar lander for returning humans to the moon.

What does Kuiper Signify?

Kuiper is the name of a belt of objects that include asteroids and dwarf planets. It was actually named for the late Dutch American astronomer Gerard Kuiper.

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