News of November 6 was reported in the Amazon application documents submitted to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today. That the FCC approved the relaunch of 4538 satellites to expand its Kuiper satellite network. So Andy Heron—SpaceX, and Elon Musk-owned space exploration technology company—launched a challenge.
In early April 2019, Amazon announced that it would build the Kuiper satellite network. The network will consist of 3236 satellites and is designed to provide broadband Internet services to users around the world. Last year, the FCC approved the plan. And Amazon has since said. that it plans to invest more than $10 billion in the Kuiper satellite network.
Today, Amazon once again applied to the FCC in hopes of launching 4538 satellites. This increased the number of satellites on the Kuiper network to 7774.
In the satellite Internet market, SpaceX’s “Starlink” network is an early leader in this market. So far, SpaceX has launched 1,740 satellites, and more than 100,000 users in 14 countries and territories have participated in the public beta. The service price is US$99 per month.
SpaceX is followed by the British company OneWeb. About half of the 648 satellites to be launched are already operating in low-Earth orbit. Other competitors include the US’s AST Spacemobile and Canadian satellite operator Telesat.
So far, Amazon has not placed any Kuiper satellites in orbit. But earlier this year, Amazon signed a deal with United Launch Alliance to launch nine. According to the FCC’s authorization, Amazon will have to deploy half of its planned satellites within six years. This means Amazon will have to put about 1,600 satellites into orbit by July 2026.
Last month, Amazon and US telecom operator Verizon jointly announced that Verizon would use Amazon’s Kuiper satellite network to provide broadband Internet services in rural and remote areas. In addition, the two companies also said that they would consider providing “joint connectivity solutions” for industries such as agriculture, energy, manufacturing, education, emergency response, and transportation.
In response, Amazon CEO Andy Jesse said in a statement: “We are proud to work together to bring fast and reliable broadband services to the customers and communities who need broadband the most.”
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