Amazon plans to launch 3,236 satellites to provide broadband access around the world
Amazon is joining the space-race to provide internet accross the globe. The Seattle-headquartered tech company is planning to launch a network of 3,236 satellites in the lower Earth orbit (LEO) in an ambitious attempt to provide broadband access to people around the globe. The initiative codenamed as the Project Kuiper, after noted space scientist Gerard Kuiper and Solar System's Kuiper Belt, represents the latest ambitions by a Jeff Bezos-owned company.
According to a GeekWire report, last month, Kuiper Systems LLC made three sets of filings with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the agency that oversees telecom satellite operations globally and would eventually authorise Amazon to launch its satellite network consisting of over 3,000 satellites in the LEO to offer satellite broadband across the globe.
The filings reveal that Amazon plans to launch a total of 3,236 satellites, 784 of which the company plans to deploy at an altitude of 367 miles (590km approx). In addition to this, the company plans to deploy 1,296 satellites at an altitude of 379 miles (610km approx) and 1,156 satellites at a height of 391 miles (629km approx).
Amazon's network of satellites would provide satellite broadband coverage on the Earth ranging between 56 degrees north to 56 degrees south. This area of roughly cover about 95 per cent of the world's population.
An Amazon spokesperson confirming the company's Project Kuiper said that the project aimed to provide internet connectivity to "unserved and underserved communities" around the world. "Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world," an Amazon spokesperson said a statement to the publication.
"This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. We look forward to partnering on this initiative with companies that share this common vision," the spokesperson added.
At this point other details about the project remain uncertain. While Amazon hasn't provided a timeline as to when the satellite network would be deployed or when it would start providing internet access, the company hasn't specified if Jeff Bezos-owned space exploration company Blue Origins would manufacture the satellites or if the company would hire a third party for the same.
Notably, apart from Amazon, Elon Musk's SpaceX and Facebook too are working on launching their internet satellites to provide global broadband access.