A new satellite team is taking over the airspace! Amazon Project Kuiper challenges SpaceX Starlink in becoming the next generation internet service provider.
Amazon recently bought Facebook's research team to further boost further its progress of sending satellites to space.
Back in 2020, The Verge revealed Amazon Project Kuiper's roadmap to its "internet from space" service. After receiving approval from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to send 3,236 satellites to orbit around Earth, Amazon designed its own antennas and satellite constellation, similar to SpaceX.
From its 3,236 end goal, Project Kuiper aims to send at least 578 satellites before it began customer service. Flying altitudes at 590-630 kilometers, these satellites would beam low-latency broadband internet coverage to areas around the planet. This satellite service is advertised to reach all remote areas.
Amazon Satellite Internet Coming
According to Ars Technica, Amazon recently bought Facebook's small-satellite internet division. The social media giant emphasized that they had no plans to join the Internet service provider competition and confirmed its sale on Wednesday.
The former Facebook team featured a lot of technological developers, including wireless internet experts and physicists. They also had optical, prototyping, mechanical, and software engineers who formerly worked in aeronautical systems.
Amazon undoubtedly gained a boost with this new team. The company now plans to have Project Kuiper in the skies by 2023 at its earliest.
Starlink Gets a Head Start
However, in comparison, Starlink stays far ahead on development. The SpaceX division is already providing internet service to 10,000 beta users with over 1,500 satellites. The company said they would have near-global coverage by the month of August.
SpaceX continues its service expansion together with its ongoing development. An earlier report said that the company received a 10-year license to operate over Mexico and provide its internet service. For reference, Starlink's internet service reportedly runs at 50 Mb/s to 150 Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms depending on environmental conditions.
Because of this, analysts predict that Starlink sales could boost up to $20 billion yearly.
Another report from Advanced Television also said that Starlink plans to use Indian manufacturers to create its customer antenna, modems, and terminal devices. The Starlink internet service is expected to launch in India in 2022.
Starlink Expansion Continues
The global race between SpaceX Starlink and Amazon Kuiper is an intense competition that could involve a trillion-dollar market. Being the first two companies to offer internet service from space means a lot of appeal to consumers globally.
Both companies are in their development programs, but Starlink has a clear advantage, primarily because Starlink is already offering its services through the beta programs. Kuiper, on the other hand, needs to prove its capabilities in the future.
However, the competition between these two will probably be decided on internet speeds. YouTuber Futurephile pointed out the pros and cons between the two companies. The YouTuber also concluded that both companies would be a massive boost to the overall technological advancement of internet service providers.