Amazon Goes Up Against Starlink With Over 3,000 Satellites Planned
Amazon said it had secured 83 rockets for more than 3,000 satellite launches to compete with Starlink. Starlink’s pitch for space-beamed high-speed internet is identical to Amazon’s Project Kuiper. Satellite internet is intended to bridge the digital divide between the U.S.A and worldwide, providing affordable connectivity to remote areas. The reality is that today’s technology isn’t cheap and is almost twice the price of standard services.
Space internet is most prevalent in remote and disaster-prone areas and suburban areas. The market is dominated by large internet providers that offer affordable internet access via fiber and cable ground networks. These are areas with high-density populations. However, the infrastructure used by large internet providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon to operate is too costly to deploy in large, unconnected areas. Millions of people around the globe are left without reliable internet access.
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Amazon stated it had signed 83 contracts with three commercial space companies to launch 3,236 satellites into low-Earth orbit. This number is not close to the 42,000 satellites Starlink was approved to operate. Starlink currently serves 250,000 customers and is proliferating. Amazon is, however, the first significant competition SpaceX will have. Over five years, Amazon will launch its satellite chain with rockets from Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance.
Low-cost Internet Space Is The Answer to the Digital Divide
Amazon has made it clear that its service must remain affordable to achieve its mission. Users will be able to connect to satellites over the air using a specially-made antenna terminal, just like Starlink. The company plans to offer services to small and medium-sized businesses and schools, and hospitals. Amazon has invested $10 billion to improve its internet space service. Plans on adding more satellites in the future. Amazon will also provide the service to wireless operators that wish to expand 5G or LTE services to new areas.
Amazon believes that the key to affordable service is its small, lightweight, and inexpensive phased array antenna. Initial tests have shown it can reach speeds of 400 Megabits per second Mbps. This is remarkable considering that Starlink’s standard service, which costs $110, only offers 150 Mbps. Starlink’s premium service, which delivers 500 Mbps, costs $649 monthly.
Amazon has yet to disclose the price of its service. However, it appears that low-price options are possible. ” To make a difference in unserved or underserved communities you must deliver service at a cost that makes sense to customers,” Rajeev Badyal (VP of Technology, Project Kuiper) stated in an Amazon press release. Amazon still needs to catch up with Starlink before they can shake the space market and end Starlink’s monopoly. But competition will be suitable for everyone once and if they do. The quality of space internet technology will improve, and prices will fall. Space internet will eventually be how millions of people connect all over the globe.