Amazon Announces “Project Kuiper”, Its Satellite Internet Service

Amazon has formally announced “Project Kuiper“, its low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network. The project hopes to bridge the digital divide by providing fast, affordable broadband to communities unserved or underserved by traditional communications technologies.

Customers will be able to access the service by installing an outdoor antenna (a customer terminal) that communicates with satellites passing overhead.

The Customer Terminal

The standard customer terminal measures less than 11 inches square and 1 inch thick. It weighs less than five pounds without its mounting bracket. The antenna will be capable of delivering speeds up to 400 megabits per second (Mbps). Amazon expects to produce these terminals for less than $400 each.

Standard Terminal

Amazon will also have 7-inch square design which will be its more affordable customer terminal. Weighing just 1 pound and offering speeds up to 100 Mbps. This design will connect residential customers who need an even lower-cost model, as well as government and enterprise customers pursuing applications like ground mobility and internet of things (IoT).

The largest terminal is designed for enterprise, government, and telecommunications applications that require even more bandwidth. The device measures 19 inches by 30 inches and will deliver speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).

Our goal with Project Kuiper is not just to connect unserved and underserved communities, but also to delight 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 technology and business decision we’ve made has centered on what will deliver the best experience for different customers around the world, and our range of customer terminals reflects those choices.

Powered by Amazon-designed custom chips

Project Kuiper customer terminals are powered by an Amazon-designed baseband chip, developed under the code name “Prometheus.” Prometheus combines the processing power of a 5G modem chip found in modern smartphones, the capability of a cellular base station to handle traffic from thousands of customers at once, and the ability of a microwave backhaul antenna to support powerful point-to-point connections—and it packs all of that into a single custom chip.

Project Kuiper expects to launch the first production satellites in the first half of 2024 and plans to give its earliest customers access to the service beginning later that year.

Source: Amazon

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