Recently Amazon received FCC permission to launch over 3,000 satellites to start offering home internet from space. This is part of Amazon’s plan to bring high-speed internet to underserviced areas. So how big does Amazon want this service to become? According to its CEO, Amazon plans to bring home internet to 300 to 400 million customers worldwide.
“Kuiper will serve customers with minimal to no fixed broadband connectivity, changing access to information and resources for many communities (analysts estimate approximately 300- 400 million customers globally are in this category),” Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy wrote to shareholders last year.
Amazon is hoping if more customers have high-speed internet, they will be more likely to use Amazon products also. More customer online means more videos streamed, more Amazon orders, and more music listened to. All of these are things Amazon can make money from.
Amazon is facing a deadline as the FCC has given it until mid-2026 to have 1,600 satellites in space or face losing its FCC approval for the project.
To do this, Amazon has announced plans to build the required satellites in Kirkland, Washington. Amazon has also secured a deal with ULA, Arianespace, and Blue Origin to launch these satellites into space starting in early 2023. With this deal, Amazon hopes to launch multiple prototypes into space to test the system before mass production starts.
Amazon says they plan to start doing test launches of its satellites later this year. If its to make its target goal of 1,600 satellites by the middle of 2026, Amazon will need to hurry in 2024 and 2025 to accomplish this goal.