Amazon plans to launch 3,236 satellites to build a network to provide global high-speed internet, reports GeekWire, which discovered filings with the International Telecommunications Union.
The initiative, code-named Project Kuiper, aims “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,” an Amazon spokesperson told GeekWire in an emailed statement.
Amazon envisions Project Kuiper serving broadband internet to millions of people around the globe who lack basic internet access.
Providing internet to unserved areas of the world is also a goal of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), which recently celebrated its third anniversary. Although TIP is exploring a variety of technologies to deliver internet, the group has not announced any initiatives involving satellites. Although TIP’s founder Facebook has confirmed some satellite broadband interest.
For its part, Amazon has been dabbling in satellite. In November 2018 at its Amazon Re:invent conference, Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy announced AWS Ground Station, a new service for customers to download data from satellites into AWS’ cloud infrastructure. The company is leveraging its 19 existing AWS infrastructure regions and 57 availability zones. The new AWS Ground Station initially comprises a network of 12 ground station antennas located on the same grounds as AWS facilities.
Other companies are also working on projects to deliver internet from space. SpaceX has launched trials for its Starlink broadband project. And OneWeb launched its first six satellites in February.