Technology and E-commerce giant Amazon is planning to set up a network of more than 3,000 satellites in order to provide high-speed broadband internet service from space. In this latest space venture, Jeff Bezos plans to establish 3,236 satellites that will provide high-speed internet access to people around the world.
The plan, dubbed Project Kuiper, will send satellites up into orbit at three different altitudes. There will be 784 satellites at 367 miles, 1,296 satellites at 379 miles, and 1,156 satellites at 391 miles, according to a filing with the International Telecommunications Union. Together, these satellites are expected to provide internet access to more than 95% of the global population, according to Amazon.
“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,” Amazon said in a statement. “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.”
It’s not yet clear if Amazon will manufacture or buy its satellites, or when it will start to provide satellite broadband services. However, before it does so, it will need to obtain approval from the US Federal Communications Commission as well as show how it plans to decommission its satellites and manage the growing problem of space debris.
This isn’t the first attempt at a satellite launch by a company.
Amazon is following the footsteps of companies like SpaceX and OneWeb, which all want to send huge numbers of satellites into low Earth orbit in order to connect underserved areas via broadband.
Last year, SpaceX had launched two test satellites for its “Starlink” network, which was the first step towards its goal of a constellation of 4,425 interconnected satellites. Last month, Softbank-backed OneWeb launched the first six satellites of its network, which the company plans to grow into a constellation of 650 interconnected satellites. Seattle-based Boeing and Canadian operator Telesat have both revealed plans for high-speed internet constellations.