July 08, 2019
Amazon is now seeking to launch satellites into space, entering what appears to be a new space race to compete with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
A July 4 filing revealed that Amazon is requesting permission from the Federal Communications Commission to launch 3,236 satellites into space to establish an internet system that will provide connection to tens of millions of consumers that lack adequate access to the internet.
The FCC has already approved about 13,000 low-Earth orbit satellites, 11,943 of them belonging to Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
In its FCC filings, Amazon said its satellites would float at altitudes of approximately 370 to 390 miles.
Last month, Jeff Bezos said the Kuiper project will cost “multiple billions of dollars.” This project will operate separate from Bezo’s Blue Origin.
“This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet,” read an April statement from Amazon.
Amazon said in its FCC filing that it seeks to help U.S. communities “by offering fixed broadband communications services to rural and hard-to-reach areas.”
The proposed Kuiper System would help mobile network operators expand wireless services throughout the country as well as offering the possibility of “high-throughout mobile broadband security connectivity services for aircraft, maritime vessels, and land vehicles.”
In its FCC filings, Amazon cited the Commission’s statistic that 21 million Americans do not have fixed, residential broadband and 33 million Americans do not have speedy mobile service. The application also wrote that 3.8 people globally do not have fast and reliable broadband service.
– MK. II