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Amazon to launch hundreds of satellites to offer internet from space

While the fate of Google parent Alphabet’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) ambitious broadband balloon project is still hanging in the balance, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) is taking the concept of internet-beaming to the next level.

As usual, the company will be stepping into the new business venture in its own unique way. As part of Project Kuiper, 3,236 small satellites – yes, you heard it right! – will be launched into the space to make internet connectivity available across the globe, covering all the existing black spots.

The idea is to deploy a constellation of satellites in Low Earth Orbit for providing high-speed internet in areas where conventional broadband connectivity is not available. If things go as planned, the mega-project will link thousands of communities that lack internet access across the world.

The idea is to deploy a constellation of satellites for providing high-speed internet in areas where broadband connectivity is not available

Considering the complexities involved in executing such a large-scale project that requires significant capital, it could be several years before Amazon finally starts the service. The company itself has referred to it as a ‘long-term project.’ It needs to be noted that many of the past attempts to set up interconnected broadband hubs in space had met with failure.

Like Alphabet, Amazon’s extensive clout in the internet space, availability of capital and technical prowess give it an advantage when it comes to taking forward the challenging mission.

It’s been a while since Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos set eyes on space, and his pet project Blue Origin has made significant progress in setting up the infrastructure for taking tourists to space. The other major corporates vying for space-based internet services are SpaceX, owned by Tesla (TSLA) chief Elon Musk, and SoftBank’s OneWeb. Both the companies have completed the initial round of tests by launching pilot satellites.

Amazon shares traded lower during Thursday’s regular session. The stock has gained 29% in the past twelve months and  18% since the beginning of 2019.


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