Jeff Bezos’s company is joining the race to provide global Internet access using low-orbit satellites — fast and without delay. For this they need to launch more than 3000 satellites.
Fast and ubiquitous Internet access is one of the biggest challenges of the near future and a market of almost $130 billion. Not surprisingly, fierce competition unfolds over a share of it. The media, based on documents from regulators, have declassified plans for another player: Amazon. Jeff Bezos wants to launch more than 3,000 satellites into orbit.
Documents related to the project Kuiper, published the site Geekwire. Observers found and understood the content of a package of papers sent by the US Federal Communications Commission to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on behalf of Washington’s Kuiper Systems LLC.
Bezos plans to launch 3236 satellites into low orbit to distribute the Internet. They will circle in orbits from 590 to 630 km above the surface of the planet. The main advantage of a low orbit is the absence of delays in signal transmission.
The network will cover the territory from 56 degrees south to 56 degrees north – about 95% of the world’s population lives here.
In a comment to Geekwire, an Amazon spokesman confirmed Bezos’s connection to the project: “The Kuiper project is a new initiative to launch a low-Earth orbit constellation of satellites that will provide high-speed broadband with low latency to those who do not currently have high-speed Internet access. This is a long-term project that provides services to tens of millions of people.”
The UN estimates that about 4 billion people on Earth do not have stable Internet access. And its importance is growing literally every month as the world becomes more and more connected.
In detail, the Amazon project is not ready to discuss with journalists: neither the launch dates, nor the cost of the project, nor even the approximate date of commencement of services are known. We can only assume that Blue Origin satellites of Bezos will launch satellites into orbit.
Amazon will have serious competitors from among the fastest growing companies in the world. Elon Musk makes the most serious bet: SpaceX for the Starlink project wants to launch about 12,000 satellites and place up to a million ground signal receiving stations. Another serious player is European OneWeb. The first satellites were launched at the end of February, and the Russian Soyuz rocket was used for this.