05 Apr 2019
Soon, Amazon will launch over 3,000 satellites for 'global' internet
Amazon wants to launch more than 3,000 satellites into the low-Earth orbit.
The e-commerce and web services giant has detailed the plans to set up a constellation of satellites hundreds of kilometers above Earth for delivering high-speed, low latency internet.
The mission would take the company straight against SpaceX which plans to create its own network of global internet satellites.
Here are the details.
Amazon's 'Project Kuiper' spotted
Last year, reports indicated that Amazon had planned an ambitious space project.
Now, thanks to GeekWire, we know it is 'Project Kuiper' - a mission to launch satellites that would serve the internet around the globe.
Satellites to be positioned at different heights
Though it's not clear if Amazon is working on its own internet satellites or is getting them developed from a third-party, the filings show that the company wants to place them at different heights.
It will launch a total of 3,236 satellites, with 784 being positioned 590km above Earth, 1,296 sitting at an altitude of 610km, and the remaining at 630km.
Amazon's constellation would cover 95% of Earth
Following the discovery, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the project, noting that the initiative will "provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world."
The representative said the satellites would deliver internet from 56 degrees north to 56 degrees south, covering as much as 95% population of the world.
This would come handy as the need for high-speed internet grows.
Launch timeline, however, still remains unclear
While Amazon has confirmed the plan, there's still no word on when the satellites would actually launch and go into service.
The timeline of the project would be of key importance as other players, including SpaceX, are also racing to set up satellite constellations for serving the internet.
SpaceX plans to have 12,000 satellites in orbit, while OneWeb will launch hundreds in coming years.
Here's what the spokesperson told GeekWire
"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."