Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has announced a partnership with Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) to use the tech behemoth’s upcoming satellite internet in expanding rural broadband access in the US. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said:
We’re proud to be working together to explore bringing fast, reliable broadband to the customers and communities who need it most.
Amazon’s Project Kuiper to deploy 3,236 satellites
Amazon is developing Project Kuiper, which is a network of around 3,236 satellites that will give high-speed internet to everybody, wherever on the planet.
Despite Amazon not yet launching its first Kuiper satellites, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had already approved the system last year, and the corporation has stated that it wants to spend more than $10 billion on the project. In addition, Amazon offered an early outlook last year of the performance of the low-cost satellite antenna it was developing for Kuiper.
According to the companies, Verizon will utilize Amazon’s system to enhance its terrestrial service, with Kuiper providing “cellular backhaul solutions to extend Verizon’s 4G/LTE and 5G data networks.”
Verizon and Amazon teams are collaborating “to define technical requirements to help extend fixed wireless coverage to rural and remote communities across the United States.”
The companies expect expanded use cases for Verizon network’s Kuiper extension stating that it will focus on “joint connectivity solutions” for various sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, energy, transportation, emergency response, education, and many more.
Jassy stated that “no single company will close the digital divide on its own” since Kuiper is not alone in the highly competitive market of high-speed satellite internet.
SpaceX’s Starlink is an early market leader
With 1,740 satellites launched to date and more than 100,000 consumers in 14 nations involved in public beta, SpaceX’s Starlink network is the market’s early leader, with service priced at $99 per month.
UK-company OneWeb, is the next most advanced in terms of satellite deployment, with about half of its projected 648 satellites currently in low Earth orbit. In addition, OneWeb has teamed with AT&T for a US connection, similar to Amazon’s partnership with Verizon.
Since emerging from bankruptcy last year, OneWeb has raised $2.7 billion in capital from investors, including the British government, Eutelsat, Indian telecommunications major Bharti Enterprises, and SoftBank.
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