Amazon Looks To Duke It Out With SpaceX, Plans To Launch 3,236 Satellites

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Life without the internet is almost a nightmare; it is unimaginable. Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Inc’s founder and CEO asked for U.S. consent to launch over 3,000 communication satellites.

This move has set the company on a competitive platform or space race to provide internet service from low orbits and contest the fleet planned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. In a recent filing, Amazon highlighted to the Federal Communicated Commission (FCC) of its broadband delivery to businesses and consumers through its initiative, Project Kuiper.

The satellites will look to provide high-speed broadband and low latency to areas where access to the internet is non-existent or limited. The agency is popularly known for radio frequency use and coordination of trajectories.



Though this plan by Amazon represents an underappreciated and serious entrant, the cost or timeline to fully deploy the network still remains unknown.

Industry executives describe Amazon’s strategy as one that will revolutionize the space industry. FCC’s approval of the nearly 13,000 low-earth satellites is undisputable. This includes 11,943 satellites for Space Exploration Technologies. In May, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched a preliminary batch of 60 spacecraft.

In an effort to stay aloft, satellites need to race around the globe, completing orbits in less than 90 minutes and at low earth orbit altitudes of 180-2,000 kilometers — close proximity to the horizon hands off signal duties to the subsequent satellite.

Widespread coverage is the ultimate goal of satellites, and this only happens when they are continuous. In its FCC application, Amazon highlighted that its satellites would function at altitudes of 590-630 kilometers.

Long-term Initiative

Last month, Amazon’s CEO referred to Project Kuiper as a multiple billion investment. He was quick to mention that this project is unconnected to Blue Origin, LLC, a space launch vehicle maker.

In a statement made in April, the CEO described a long term project intended to serve billions of people lacking basic access to broadband internet. The company’s satellite program was initially made public through a filing with the International Telecommunications Union.

Amazon made a promise to serve U.S communities by providing fixed broadband communication services to inaccessible areas.

In its application, Amazon said that the Kuiper System will foster the expansion of wireless services by mobile network operators. In addition, the vision of high-throughput mobile connectivity for land vehicles, maritime vessels and aircraft was offered.

Amazon also mentioned FCC studies that say 33 million Americans lack access to speedy mobile service and 21 million lack fixed as well as residential broadband.  According to the application, 3.8 billion people remain without reliable and fast broadband service globally.

The Amazon Effect

Amazon’s reach and energy to innovate on behalf of its customers are expected to contribute to the success of its subsequent projects. This additional factor will catalyze the birth of a new e-commerce, gaming and media era, hence the success of project Kuiper.

The fact that most people do many things on Amazon will turn this project into reality. Also, Amazon’s ability to tie internet access with other offerings is perhaps more meaningful as opposed to a standalone internet network.

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