Amazon to invest US$10b in space-based internet system

The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, November 5, 2019. — Reuters pic
The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, November 5, 2019. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, July 31 — Amazon says it will invest US$10 billion (RM42 billion) for its planned space-based internet delivery system after winning US regulatory approval to deploy more than 3,000 low-orbit satellites.

The US tech giant said yesterday it is moving forward with its Project Kuiper, one of several systems planned to bring internet to customers without land-based connections.

Project Kuiper aims to deliver satellite-based broadband services in the United States, and eventually around the world, and may offer connectively for wireless carriers and 5G networks.

Amazon offered no timetable for the project but said it would begin deployment of its 3,236 satellites after the Federal Communications Commission approved the project.

“We have heard so many stories lately about people who are unable to do their job or complete schoolwork because they don’t have reliable internet at home,” said Amazon senior vice president Dave Limp.

“There are still too many places where broadband access is unreliable or where it doesn’t exist at all. Kuiper will change that. Our US$10 billion investment will create jobs and infrastructure around the United States that will help us close this gap.”

Project Kuiper seeks to deliver high-speed broadband service to places beyond the reach of traditional fibre or wireless networks, including disaster relief.

It will be aimed at individual households, as well as schools, hospitals, businesses and other organisations.

An Amazon statement said the project also aims to “deliver an affordable customer terminal that will make fast, reliable broadband accessible to communities around the world.”

Kuiper is one of several projects to deliver internet from space begun over the past decades.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX and British-based OneWeb, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, are working on similar projects. — AFP

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