Amazon's "Project Kuiper" to provide worldwide broadband connections via 3,236 new satellites
While the world is getting ready to welcome the 5G standard for ultra-fast connection mobile Internet speeds, a significant number of areas on the globe are still stuck with slow Internet connections or no connections at all. Several companies, including Google, SpaceX and Facebook, are now planning to implement advanced infrastructures that would connect the aforementioned regions to the global broadband Internet. Advancemenets are slow, however, since the planetary scale of things requires quite the investment.
As the biggest Internet company in the world, Amazon also owns the biggest e-commerce market and cloud computing platform, together with streaming services like Twitch and smart device brands like Echo, plus the grocery store chain Whole Foods. According to GeekWire, the company is now planning to expand into the ISP business with a fleet of 3,236 low Earth orbit satellites that would deliver broadband Internet services to “unserved and underserved communities around the world.”
This endeavor is currently codenamed “Project Kuiper” and has the goal to connect isolated or rural areas where it is inefficient to implement underground fiber-optic cable infrastructures. Amazon is now looking to submit regulatory files to the FCC and correspondent regulators around the world. With a fleet that large, the project might take at least a few years to launch.
The total number of satellites already orbiting the Earth is around 5,000. Amazon’s Project Kuiper would be adding 60+% more satellites and this could clutter the orbital routes too much, thus forcing Amazon to reduce the fleet size.