The planned constellation of 3,236 satellites is intended to address “unserved and underserved communities” around the world.
SpaceX is a rival in this area, with its planned Starlink eventually consisting of 4,425 satellites.
The FCC granted Amazon approval by a 5-0 vote to deploy and operate the service to deliver satellite-based broadband services in the United States. The Ka-band system will require an investment of $10 billion, says the company.
As well as satellite-based broadband, Kuiper will also provide backhaul solutions for wireless carriers, says Amazon, extending LTE and 5G service to new regions.
“We have heard so many stories lately about people who are unable to do their job or complete schoolwork because they don’t have reliable internet at home,” said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President, Amazon.
“There are still too many places where broadband access is unreliable or where it doesn’t exist at all. Kuiper will change that. Our $10 billion investment will create jobs and infrastructure around the United States that will help us close this gap. We appreciate the FCC’s unanimous, bipartisan support on this issue, and I want to thank Chairman Pai and the rest of the Commission for taking this important first step with us. We’re off to the races.”
According to the company, Project Kuiper will be designed and tested in its new research and development facility opening in Redmond, Washington.
Amazon was first reported to be planning a low orbit satellite constellation for internet access back in April 2019.
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