Since 2019 Amazon has been talking about launching a home internet service. This new home internet service from Amazon is currently code-named Project Kuiper. This is not just some side project, according to Amazon’s CEO, it is now one of the main focuses of the company.
Recently we learned new details about Amazon’s plans to start offering home internet. So today, we will break down everything we know about Amazon’s new home internet service:
Where is it today?
In October of 2022, Amazon announced their Project Kuiper would launch more than 3,000 satellites into low-earth orbit to offer this home internet service. 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 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.
Recently Amazon announced its new home internet service will build a new center at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. This $120 million facility will create up to 50 new jobs.
The 100,000-square-foot facility features a 100-foot tall high bay clean room to allow room for the payload fairing of new heavy-lift rockets like Blue Origin’s New Glenn and ULA’s Vulcan Centaur.
Amazon announced that this new facility will be used to prepare the satellites and rockets for launch.
Amazon hopes to launch its first test satellites soon.
Will this be like older satellite internet services?
Unlike older satellite internet, these satellites will offer far better experience. Thanks to them being lower in orbit, these satellites 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. That may not sound cheap to some, but if you live in a rural area high speed internet for under $100 is a great deal.
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 could 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 come, online pricing has come down, and data caps have gone away. For now, though, we have to wait as we are likely still years away from these networks becoming fully built out.