Verizon is teaming up with Amazon in order to boost its satellite internet system and expand its services across the United States.
Verizon and Amazon on Rural Connection
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement on Oct. 26 that they are working together with Verizon so they can come up with a plan to bring fast and reliable broadband to customers who need it, according to CNBC.
Amazon is currently working on its network of satellites called Project Kuiper. The said project has a total of 3,236 satellites that Amazon plans to use in order to provide high-speed internet to its customers worldwide.
The Federal Communications Commission or the FCC in 2020 authorized the system even if Amazon has yet to launch its first-ever Kuiper satellite.
The company has said that it also plans to invest more than $10 billion in Kuiper, according to TechCrunch.
The partnership of Amazon and Verizon will see Verizon use the social media giant's system as an extension of its terrestrial service, with Kuiper adding the cellular backhaul solutions to extend the 4G and 5G data networks of Verizon.
Both teams from the companies have begun working to identify any technical requirements to extend the wireless coverage to remote areas in the United States.
The two tech giants can see numerous cases for Kuiper's extension of the network of Verizon.
Amazon noted that it would look at joint connectivity solutions for several industries. These industries include energy, education, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, emergency response, and more.
Low-Cost Satellite Antenna
In 2020, Amazon gave an early sneak peek at the performance of the low-cost satellite antenna that is part of its Project Kuiper, according to UPI.
Jassy stated that no single company would close the digital divide on its own as Kuiper is not alone in the increasingly competitive and challenging field of high-speed satellite internet.
SpaceX's Starlink network is considered one of the early leaders in the internet service market. It has 1,740 satellites launched in orbit, and it has more than 100,000 users in 14 different countries who are currently using its public beta.
The service cost of SpaceX's Starlink is $99 a month.
OneWeb, a service from the United Kingdom, is regarded as the next internet service leader when it comes to deploying satellites. Almost half of its planned 648 satellites are in low Earth orbit.
Just like Amazon's partnership with Verizon, OneWeb has teamed up with AT&T to strengthen its connection in the United States.
OneWeb has raised $2.7 billion in funding since emerging from bankruptcy in 2020. The shareholders of the company include the British government, Bharti Enterprises, Eutelsat, and SoftBank.
There are also other satellite broadband systems in different stages of development, including two systems in the United States, the AST Spacemobile, which is a satellite-to-smartphone specialist, and Lockheed Martian's had partnered up with Omnispace.
Canadian satellite operator Telesat's Lightspeed network has also partnered up with Omnispace.
While Amazon has yet to send its satellites to orbit, the e-commerce company signed a deal with United Launch Alliance for nine launches in the next few years.
Amazon has yet to launch its Kuiper satellites, but it has already signed a deal with United Launch Alliance for nine launches in the next few years.
The authorization of Kuiper by the FCC means that Amazon needs to launch half of its planned satellites within the next six years.
The company is on the clock to deliver at least 1,600 in orbit by July 2026.
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Written by Sophie Webster