This week, Amazon announced it has completed the testing of its internet service. This also came with an announcement that Amazon will now start mass production of satellites for its home internet service. The goal is to start launching these satellites in early 2024, public beta tests start in late 2024, and launch the service in select areas in 2025.
This is great news! Amazon has repeatedly said it plans to offer an affordable option for home internet to its customers. Now that reality is almost here as Amazon is ready to start moving forward with production and beta testing.
Will this be like older satellite internet services?
No, these satellites will offer far better experience. The satellites will be lower in orbit, so they will offer faster speeds and lower latency. Amazon is hoping to become a major player in the world of home internet at a time when home internet is becoming more critical than ever.
Here is how Amazon describes these low Earth orbit satellites.
LEO is an area of space that extends up to 2,000 kilometers (about 1,243 miles) above Earth. Project Kuiper satellites will orbit between 590 and 630 kilometers (about 367 and 392 miles). Our satellites’ proximity to the surface of the Earth means they can deliver fast service to customers, making Project Kuiper connectivity effective for uses like video calls, gaming, and high-definition streaming.
What speeds should you expect?
Here are the three internet speed options Amazon Home Internet will offer:
Standard This standard version will come with an 11″ square antenna that will offer speeds up to 400 Mbps down. This will be perfect for homes.
Pro Version If you need a lot of speed, Amazon has an 11″ by 30″ pro antenna that can offer speeds up to 1 Gbps. This will be perfect for companies or large households.
Portable Version Now if speed is not that important to you, but you want something you can easily travel with, you may want Amazon’s ultra-portable version that is just 7″ square and offers speeds up to 100 Mbps.
What price should you expect?
Reports are that Amazon is hoping to undersell Starlink. So, look for a price at or below $100 a month, which is a great deal especially if you live in a rural area.
Here is what Amazon said about the pricing of its new Internet service.
Amazon hasn’t announced pricing details yet, but affordability is a key principle of Project Kuiper. Amazon has a longstanding commitment to low prices and lots of experience building popular, low-cost devices like Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick. We’re applying a similar approach with Project Kuiper. We also know customer needs will vary quite a bit around the world, and our service offerings may vary from country to country with the right pricing and service for customers in each region.
Recently Yahoo posted an interview with Peter Cohan, an associate professor of management practice at Babson College, who said he wouldn’t be surprised if the service would cost $1,000 a year. That would work out to be just over $83 a month.
At that price, it would be noticeably cheaper than SpaceX’s Starlink service.
This would be huge news for cord cutters if Amazon is able to follow through on their plans. Studies have shown that as more options for home internet become available, online pricing has come down, and data caps have gone away. For now, though, we must wait as we are likely still years away from these networks becoming fully built out.