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Amazon plans satellite broadband for “tens of millions” of people

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Karlston

Amazon says it'll launch 3,236 low Earth satellites for fast, low-latency service.

An illustration of the Earth, with lines circling the globe to represent a telecommunications network.

Amazon has confirmed it plans to launch thousands of low Earth orbit satellites in order to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband service around the globe.

 

Details on Amazon's Project Kuiper emerged in filings with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and in an article published today by GeekWire.

 

Amazon confirmed Project Kuiper in a statement to GeekWire. When contacted by Ars, Amazon provided us the same statement but said it would be "premature" to answer any of our specific questions about speeds, prices, and when service will be available.

 

"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 its 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."

 

As GeekWire wrote, the filings with the ITU "lay out a plan to put 3,236 satellites in low-Earth orbit—including 784 satellites at an altitude of 367 miles (590 kilometers), 1,296 satellites at a height of 379 miles (610 kilometers), and 1,156 satellites in 391-mile (630-kilometer) orbits."

 

The filings were made last month by the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of Amazon's Kuiper Systems LLC. This is one of the initial steps for Amazon, as it still needs to seek approval from the FCC and regulators in other countries.

 

According to GeekWire, Amazon confirmed that the satellites "would provide data coverage for spots on Earth ranging from 56 degrees north to 56 degrees south," an area that covers about 95 percent of the world's population.

 

Unlike current satellite broadband services that suffer from extremely high latency, low Earth orbit satellites are expected to deliver service with latencies as low as 25ms, similar to cable or fibre systems.

Years-long process ahead

It would be hard to predict an availability date for Amazon's broadband service, given how early it is in the regulatory process.

 

SpaceX filed for FCC approval of its satellite broadband constellation in November 2016. SpaceX has made significant progress with regulators, getting FCC approval to deploy up to 11,943 broadband satellites. Two months ago, SpaceX asked the FCC for approval of up to 1 million Earth stations that would be used by end users to access the network. SpaceX is hoping to offer Internet service starting sometime in 2020 but hasn't confirmed a more specific availability date.

 

OneWeb, another company planning a big satellite network, launched its first six low Earth orbit satellites in February as test units and says it will provide worldwide broadband access by 2021. SpaceX last year launched two test satellites.

 

The FCC has also approved applications from Space Norway and Telesat to offer broadband in the US from low Earth orbit satellites. Facebook is another company planning to launch broadband satellites.

 

Like other satellite operators, Amazon will have to file detailed plans to convince regulators that its satellites won't interfere with other satellite services and that it can prevent space debris and injuries to humans when they eventually return to Earth.

 

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is also the founder of private spaceflight company Blue Origin. Bezos's space company could theoretically launch Kuiper satellites into space, but Amazon said it will "look at all options" when the time comes, according to GeekWire.

 

Source: Amazon plans satellite broadband for “tens of millions” of people (Ars Technica)

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The AchieVer

Amazon's big internet plan: 3,236 satellites to beam faster, cheaper web to millions

Soon you could be buying your goods online from Amazon using the company's own satellite broadband system.

 
 
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Amazon has plans to establish a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit to patch up areas with poor or no internet connectivity. 

 

Amazon's planned push into satellite-delivered broadband is taking shape under Project Kuiper, details of which appear in three documents filed with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) last month. The documents were filed by Kuiper Systems LLC.   

 

First spotted by Geekwire, the documents reveal Amazon plans to put 3,236 satellites at three different altitudes. There would be 784 satellites orbiting at an altitude of 367 miles (590km); 1,296 satellites at 379 miles (610km); and 1,156 satellites at 391-mile (630km).      

 

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the existence of Amazon's satellite broadband ambitions, noting that it was a "long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet". 

 

The company is also planning to partner with other companies to bring the project to reality.   

 

That could make companies in the space-broadband race, like SpaceX and OneWeb, potential rivals or partners. The FCC in November authorized SpaceX to deploy and operate 7,000 satellites in very low Earth orbit to deliver broadband.  

 

OneWeb, which has $2bn in backing from the likes of Airbus, Coca Cola, Softbank, and Virgin, in February launched six satellites with the same ambition. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin space venture already has a contract to launch satellites for OneWeb and TeleSat.  

Meanwhile, Facebook, Boeing and LeoSat have revealed plans to beam internet from space. Alongside SpaceX's FCC authorization, the regulator also authorized spectrum in the US for both TeleSat's and LeoSat's space broadband systems.       

 

Should Amazon's plans come to fruition, its satellites would provide about 95 percent of the world's population with coverage between latitudes 56 degrees north to 56 degrees south. The two parallels circle the Earth at about the latitude of Sweden and below Australia.   

 

Amazon will still need to get approval from the FCC and other regulators around the world to move forward with Project Kuiper. 

Satellite internet today is typically very expensive. However, there is hope that satellites in low Earth orbit will be cheaper and offer lower latency.  

 

Amazon said it would "of course look at all options" when asked whether Bezos' Blue Origin would have an edge over others for launching the Kuiper constellation. 

 

 

 

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truemate
Posted (edited)
Quote

the documents reveal Amazon plans to put 3,236 satellites at three different altitudes.

soo much satellites....bloody hell

that bald moron owner (his wife screw him recently)..bloody Illuminati guy...will screw our space too.. more space junk

 

http://www.worldculturepictorial.com/blog/content/the-junk-low-earth-orbit-satellite-collision-highlights-space-pollution-and-rising-hazard-de

 

satellite-collision.jpg

 

Edited by truemate

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mp68terr
3 hours ago, The AchieVer said:

The FCC in November authorized SpaceX to deploy and operate 7,000 satellites in very low Earth orbit to deliver broadband.  

@truemate, And what about those extra satellites? More than 2 times more!

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Karlston

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