Amazon delivers just about everything -- and on the day of the US's independence, tech titan Jeff Bezos launched Amazon's official salvo into the global satellite service-delivery business.
Subsidiary Kuiper Systems asked the Federal Communications Commission for approval to launch 3,236 satellites designed to connect most of the world. In the filing, Kuiper Systems said it will use 3,236 low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites to deliver these connections.
"The Kuiper System will deliver satellite broadband communications services to tens of millions of unserved and underserved consumers and businesses in the United States and around the globe," the company said in its document.
This includes the continental US, except most of Alaska, the subsidiary said. That limitation is due to technical and geographic issues.
As Broadband World News reported in April, satellite competition continues to heat up with pressure from providers like OneWeb, founded by Greg Wyler, in February 2019, and Elon Musk's SpaceX Starlink, which began satellite launches this year. Bezos's Project Kuiper expands pricing pressure, John Busby, managing director of BroadbandNow and author of "LEO Consumer Savings Study 2019," told BBWN at that time.(See How Amazon & SpaceX Could Reshape Broadband Competition – Report.)
"If we assume that just Elon Musk's Starlink launches, then the 263 million Americans with three or fewer wired broadband providers in their area could collectively save over $14 billion through reduced monthly prices," according to BroadbandNow. "The remainder of Americans with four or more providers could save an additional $4 billion, pushing the savings to $18 billion."
That means new challenges for incumbents and those operators focused on rural customers, Busby said. It also could create opportunities for new partnerships and specialized services, he noted.
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.