A composite photo from the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership satellite shows North America at night. Broadband satellite constellations promise to knit the world even closer together. (NASA / NOAA Photo)
Amazon is joining the race to provide broadband internet access around the globe via thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit, newly uncovered filings show.
The effort, code-named Project Kuiper, follows up on last September’s mysterious reports that Amazon was planning a “big, audacious space project” involving satellites and space-based systems. The Seattle-based company is likely to spend billions of dollars on the project, and could conceivably reap billions of dollars in revenue once the satellites go into commercial service.
It’ll take years to bring the big, audacious project to fruition, however, and Amazon could face fierce competition from SpaceX, OneWeb and other high-profile players.
Project Kuiper’s first public step took the form of three sets of filings made with the International Telecommunications Union last month by the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of Washington, D.C.-based Kuiper Systems LLC. The ITU oversees global telecom satellite operations and eventually will have to sign off on Kuiper’s constellation.
The filings lay out a plan to put 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit ...