Project Kuiper: Amazon's space internet is to be offered from 2024

In addition to Starlink from SpaceX, which can already be used in many parts of the world, there will be a competing offer for satellite internet from 2024. This is called Project Kuiper and comes from Amazon. I already summarized some background information on the individual offers, on the thousands of satellites that are being launched into orbit and on the topic of space junk in October 2022: Amazon Project Kuiper – development, numbers and criticism. Now there is an update from Amazon Internet from space: the necessary hardware for use as well as tariffs should come onto the market in 2024.

The three planned models for the Project Kuiper systems on Earth - from small devices with lower bandwidth to the enterprise model with up to 1 GBit/s, there should be a choice for different target groups. Image source: Amazon
The three planned models for the Project Kuiper systems on Earth - from small devices with lower bandwidth to the enterprise model with up to 1 GBit/s, there should be a choice for different target groups. Image source: Amazon

Amazon introduces "Project Kuiper" hardware

Whether on the mobile home, on the terrace, in the garden, on the roof or elsewhere, Amazon has presented various communication systems for using its satellite internet. Those published in the two days ago press release The devices shown are simply designed and have no "bowls" for the exchange with the satellites, but rather flat surfaces, as with Starlink. These are kept in white. In addition to larger systems for roofs, terraces and vehicles, there is also a small model with a tripod that can be placed on a table or other small surface when you are out and about. This should theoretically make the Internet from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) easily accessible to everyone.

Preparations for commercial service are underway

As you can read in the article linked at the beginning, there are still no Amazon satellites for Project Kuiper in earth orbit. The 3.236 planned satellites are not to be placed until the beginning of next year. Two prototypes will be launched into Earth orbit this year for detailed planning. So the schedule is tight. After the first LEO satellites were launched in early 2024, the technology for use on Earth is to be delivered to the first users later in the same year. Half of all artificial earth satellites should also be in space by 2026 - the rest must be active by 2029 according to conditions.  

Amazon plans to put two prototype satellites into orbit in 2023. With the information obtained, it is then necessary to place a total of 2024 LEO satellites from 2029 to 3.236. Image source: Amazon
Amazon plans to put two prototype satellites into orbit in 2023. With the information obtained, it is then necessary to place a total of 2024 LEO satellites from 2029 to 3.236. Image source: Amazon

Companies, private individuals or developing countries in mind?

As you have already seen in the pictures above, Amazon wants to offer several models of its Project Kuiper hardware from next year. According to the press release shown, the three versions planned so far should be aimed at different target groups. Of course, there is nothing to be seen of a purely world-improving approach with a focus on supplying developing countries and remote regions of the world. The billion dollar project must be financially worthwhile for Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos. Therefore, there should be these three offers:

  • small model: Less than 18 cm x 18 cm, weight approx. 500 g, should deliver up to 100 MBit/s, should be offered as the cheapest stationary solution, but also for mobile use and for the Internet of Things (IoT).

    Image source: Amazon
    Image source: Amazon
  • Medium model: Less than 30 cm x 30 cm, only 1 inch thick, less than 2,5 kg, intended to deliver up to 400 Mbit/s, intended for homes and small businesses, production costs less than $400.

    Image source: Amazon
    Image source: Amazon
  • Big model: Measures approx. 48 cm x 76 cm and is said to deliver up to 1 GBit/s, is intended for stationary installation - primarily for companies and government institutions.

    Image source: Amazon
    Image source: Amazon

"Our goal with Project Kuiper is not only to connect unserved and underserved communities, but to inspire them with the quality, reliability and value of their service.”, said Rajeev Badyal, Amazon's vice president of technology for Project Kuiper. "From day one, every technological and business decision we've made has focused on what provides the best experience for different customers around the world, and our range of consumer devices reflects those decisions.At least that's what the press release says. Of course, the mentioned quality can also be equated with a high price, which is most likely requested for devices and tariffs.

What do you think of satellite internet from tech companies?

How do you see the race for the use of the earth's orbit and the solar system, which is currently underway with some tech companies and their billionaire CEOs? An unnecessary trial of strength or a necessary competition that leads to new technological achievements? Are you interested in Project Kuiper, Starlink and similar offers or are you satisfied with the (admittedly slow) broadband expansion on Earth? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on the topic.

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