Taking on SpaceX, Amazon to invest $10 billion in satellite broadband plan

The announcement follows the Federal Communications Commission's approval of the plan, called "Project Kuiper", for the constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that will compete with the Starlink network being built out by Elon Musk's SpaceX.

Amazon to Take on SpaceX - Amazon said it would invest more than $10 billion (roughly Rs. 74,829 crores) to create a network of 3,236 satellites that will supply high-speed broadband Internet services to people around the globe who lack such access.

"We are doing an incredible amount of invention to deliver fast, reliable broadband at a price that makes sense for customers", said Rajeev Badyal, VP, Technology for Project Kuiper. The technology company said it will provide ground station service directly to its customers, and backhaul support for wireless carriers who provide LTE and 5G service to new regions.

"Last spring, we announced Project Kuiper, an initiative to build a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation capable of providing reliable, affordable broadband service to unserved and underserved communities around the world", explained Amazon in a separate blog post.

Amazon said the satellites could provide internet to parts of the world that don't have it.

Amazon first asked the FCC for permission in 2019, which launched the company into stiff competition with similar providers.

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Amazon has yet to reveal a set plan on when and how it will begin the construction of its satellite constellation, but the FCC said it has until July 2026 to launch 50 percent of its devices and until July 2029 for the other half.

Inc.'s plans to create a network of more than 3,000 satellites to deliver high-speed internet got the green light from US regulators, pitting it against with Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

Amazon said the billion dollar investment will create more jobs in the USA, along with providing high-speed broadband internet access to unserved and underserved areas around the globe. "Kuiper will change that", he added. Whereas traditional internet satellites fly at altitudes of more than 20,000 miles, Amazon is proposing to deploy its constellation just a few hundred miles above the Earth.

540 of these satellites have already been put into orbit, and SpaceX is expected to launch the private beta for the service in the U.S. summer, with applicants now able to sign up for early access by providing their full addresses.

The approval, among other things, is conditioned on Kuiper's final orbital debris mitigation plan. The Jeff Bezos -led e-commerce giant has opened a brand new R&D facility in Redmond, Washington dedicated entirely to Kuiper development, however, and partner Blue Origin, Bezos' space launch company, has been securing significant industry partnerships and could be ready to provide launch services for Kuiper satellites relatively soon.

Meanwhile, SpaceX received FCC approval two years ago to launch thousands of satellites.

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