Tuesday, August 4, 2020

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When it seemed like SpaceX was ‘alone’ in this satellite constellation to provide high-speed internet, it comes Amazon and lands in business in style. This was announced by the company just a few hours ago after confirming its business plans after the green light issued by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) of the United States.

Starlink, as the SpaceX constellation business is commercially called, was born as a project that seeks create a global internet network using satellites in the low Earth orbit. Elon Musk’s company has been successfully launching batches of satellites for some time now, and the month when news of a new expedition doesn’t arrive is rare.

For its part, Amazon’s plan is to put 10,000 million dollars on the table to build a network of 3,236 satellites. The plan, internally named Project Kuiper, was born with the same purpose: to bring internet connection service to everyone.

Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites visible from Earth

Marco Langbroek

“A project of this scale requires significant effort and resources and, due to the nature of Earth’s low orbits, it is those kinds of initiatives that cannot start on a small scale. You have to commit,” Amazon publishes on its blog. The project will also benefit telemarketers in the deployment of 5G technology and in the ability to bring wireless services to new regions.

Compared, SpaceX has put just over 500 satellites into orbit of the 12,000 they plan to make up the entire constellation. In their plans, they hope to be able to offer connectivity service in United States and Canada later this year. Mainly to areas where there is no fiber optic connection or traditional telephone antennas.

Starlink Satellite

Starlink Satellite

SpaceX

Omicrono

The FCC, in its resolution, has made it a requirement that first satellites to launch in mid-2026 and the constellation is completed in mid-2029. If plans continue, we will see a dense launch cadence to put into orbit in those 3 years.

Amazon hopes to start offering satellite connectivity services when 578 satellites are in orbit – a number similar to what Starlink currently has. The satellites are will design and test in new facilities that the company has just opened in Redmond, Washington. At the moment, there are no more technical details of what the constellation will look like or the specifications it will offer to future clients.

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