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Reports: Amazon Plans Satellite Constellation To Provide Internet Access


Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) plans to launch thousands of satellites in order to build a network to provide high-speed Internet access around the world, according to media reports.

Code-named Project Kuiper, Amazon's proposal is to reportedly deploy a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit that will offer broadband Internet access.

Satellites in low Earth orbit are expected to provide advantages in terms of low costs as well as low latency. Amazon is likely to spend billions of dollars on the project.

"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," media reports quoted an Amazon spokesperson as saying.

Kuiper is a circumstellar disc in the outer solar system, consisting of objects that are composed largely of frozen volatiles such as methane, ammonia and water, and is also home to some dwarf planets. It was named after the late Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper.

As a first public step for Project Kuiper, the Federal Communications Commission or FCC has reportedly filed with the International Telecommunications Union or ITU on behalf of Washington-based Kuiper Systems LLC.

The ITU is a specialized agency of the United Nations that oversees global telecom satellites operations. The FCC's filings were first reported by tech news website GeekWire.

Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos has already founded a space startup Blue Origin in 2000. The company is developing a heavy-lift rocket called New Glenn that is due for its first launch in 2021.

Several other companies too plan to build the next-generation broadband network in space.

According to media reports, Elon Musk's SpaceX plans to launch satellites in low Earth orbit as part of massive satellite Internet project called Starlink. In November 2018, SpaceX is said to have received the FCC's approval to deploy up to 11,943 broadband satellites for its planned Starlink service.

Softbank-backed OneWeb has already launched six satellites in February as part of its goal for a constellation of 650 satellites that will offer Internet service from space.

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