Recently Amazon press release was out, which has an uncanny image. In the photo, a rocket imprinted with an American flag can be seen, and above that, the company’s logo blasting off to the heavens. Amazon is officially taking its business to space, but Jeff Bezos isn’t providing the ride. The company recently announced that for Project Kuiper, a startup ABL Space Systems would deliver two prototype satellites. The purpose is to build an LEO or low-Earth orbit satellite constellation that can beam internet connectivity down to Earth.
Amazon says it will eventually launch 3236 such satellites and these satellites will provide affordable and fast broadband worldwide. The company’s cloud computing business growth can be enhanced by becoming a space-based internet service provider. With Verizon, the satellites will work to deliver 5G and LTE service to hard-to-reach places. Because of AWS, the new satellite-based internet business is bound to succeed.
According to experts, increasing competition in the market is likely to drive innovation over the next few years. The quality of service will improve, and the prices will be more affordable. The company isn’t alone in the mission to provide internet service through satellite constellations. Starlink, a SpaceX project in low-Earth orbit, already has more than 1700 satellites and has 90000 people testing the service. OneWeb, a British company, has over 350 satellites in orbit now.
A ground station beams data up to the satellite constellation, and the data is beamed back to customers through the satellite. The connection can be fast despite going to space and back. The prototype of Project Kuiper delivered a speed up to 400Mbps, far quicker than the average broadband speed in the US. Since the connectivity is coming from the sky, practically anywhere on Earth people, get internet service without string wires. People can get the service in the mountains, rainforest, under the ocean, or in remote locations. Amazon can do this incredibly, very well.
The infrastructure in the ground needs to be in place. To connect its data centers, Amazon already has made investments in fiber optic cables, and Amazon has good logistics. Logistics will be needed to manage more than 3200 satellites. In the year 2020, AWS completed construction on six grounds stations. Project Kuiper is being launched by the company to sell internet service to customers and boost its AWS offerings. It seems like the California-based startup ABL Space Systems will launch the satellite for Amazon and will be carrying the satellites for $12 million per launch.
Amazon is launching a new business in space and for many experts, the project’s success would mean the difference between having internet access and not having it. At present, 21 million people in the US do not have access to quality broadband. This mean child cannot attend online classes and patients who can’t access telemedicine. Amazon wants to get more people online. There will be a lot of upsides for a lot of people and the company a lot of potential new customers.