Though satellite internet has existed for years, the competition is about to rapidly intensify, with companies planning to launch thousands of their own systems into low Earth orbit.
The latest move in the industry came on Tuesday from Amazon, which took a major step towards getting its $10 billion Kuiper constellation off the ground by sealing deals with three rocket companies.
The US online retail giant wants to strengthen its lucrative diversification into IT services, and “provide low-latency broadband to a wide range of customers,” including those “working in locations without a reliable internet connection.”
“Satellite solutions are an indispensable complement to fiber,” said Stephane Israel, chief executive of Arianespace, one of the Amazon rocket providers.
“There are situations in which fiber is much too expensive compared to satellite connections, especially to reach the last inhabitant of a remote area,” he explained.
In addition to the satellites themselves, Amazon plans “small, affordable client terminals” along the lines of Echo smart-homes and Kindle e-readers, and promises to “provide service at a price that is affordable and accessible to customers,” with no further pricing details immediately. AFP