According to Amazon this is a significant step toward providing high-speed, low-latency internet access to tens of millions of customers and companies that are now unserved or underserved.
On Monday, the company said that it has submitted an experimental license application to the Federal Communications Commission for the launch, deployment, and operation of two satellites to provide global broadband internet access.
The upgrade was part of a project dubbed Kuiper, which is a constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, according to Amazon. The satellites will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022 by the retail and technology behemoth.
In a statement, the corporation added, “These satellites—KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2—are a significant milestone in the development process.”
“There is no replacement for on-orbit testing, and given the complexity and danger of operating in such a demanding environment, we anticipate to learn a lot. We’re excited to get started, “says Rajeev Badyal, Vice President of Technology for Project Kuiper.
Amazon has committed to spending at least $10 billion on the construction of 3,236 of these satellites.
“All of the systems are performing well in simulated and lab environments, and we’ll be able to observe how they work in space shortly,” Badyal added.
Amazon’s Kuiper will compete with Elon Musk’s Starlink network, which is part of SpaceX. The Starlink service is now being tested in areas of the United States, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Australia, among others. In low Earth orbit, the company has about 1,700 satellites.
Amazon also announced that it has teamed with ABL Space Systems to enable these initial launches, which would take place at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, utilizing its all-new RS1 rocket.
“Our staff here at ABL is very motivated by Kuiper’s goal to offer high-speed, low-latency broadband connectivity to neglected places,” O’Hanley remarked.
The Kuiper Project, a constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites was authorized by The FCC in 2020.