Amazon takes on SpaceX in the satellite internet with Project Kuiper

Amazon has a plan to provide internet from space using 3,236 small satellites in low Earth orbit. It’s called Project Cooper.

In April, the company signed a multi-billion dollar contract — the largest rocket deal in the history of the commercial space industry — for launches of its Kuiper satellites with three different entities: Jeff Bezos‘s Blue Origin, United Launch Alliance (a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin) and Europe’s Arianespace.

“In many ways it’s a reaction and a competition to Elon Musk and SpaceX with its Starlink network,” said CNBC space reporter Michael Sheetz. Amazon Project Kuiper unveiled for the first time in 2019but that of the company Announcement last month it gave it a new lease of life.

SpaceX’s Starlink already has about 2,000 satellites in orbit, accounting for about 250,000 subscribers. The Federal Communications Commission has approved SpaceX to launch a total of 12,000 satellites.

Amazon hasn’t launched a single satellite yet, but it could still be a big player in the game.

“The satellite communications market is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars,” said Caleb Henry, senior analyst at Quilty Analytics. “Nobody in this industry believes it is an environment that takes all in one system. We expect at least two and probably more constellations to emerge, serving not just the private consumer, but any type of business or organization that relies on internet connectivity.” .”

According to data from the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency, an estimated 37% of the world’s population has never used the Internet, and 96% of those people live in developing countries. And Amazon joins a list of tech giants, along with facebook and googlewho have invested in the development of digital infrastructure to support their own core services.

“Amazon is known as the everything business and it’s hard to have an everything business without the internet,” Henry says. “Amazon’s fastest-growing segment is the AWS cloud service. And to support that, they’ve built a massive amount of Internet infrastructure, whether it’s data centers or fiber.”

Henry said space travel is a “very natural extension” of Amazon’s data and consumer business, “providing goods, electronics and resources to people around the world.”

Watch the video above to see how Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite internet service will compete with SpaceX’s Starlink, and why the e-commerce giant is positioned to deliver connectivity around the world for the foreseeable future.

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