To provide broadband to tens of millions of users who don’t currently have adequate internet access, Amazon wants permission from the U.S. to launch 3,236 communications satellites, per a Thursday (July 4) Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing. The agency organizes radio frequency use as well as trajectories, Bloomberg reported.
When its satellite program became public in an International Telecommunications Union filing, Amazon said in a statement in April that “this is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet.” Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said last month that the project would cost “multiple billions of dollars.” The product is distinct from Blue Origin LLC, which is Bezos’ space launch vehicle maker.
The company said in its FCC filing that it will help serve communities in the U.S. “by offering fixed broadband communications services to rural and hard-to-reach areas.” The agency has approved almost 13,000 low-Earth orbit satellites, which encompass 11,943 for Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
Satellites have to race around the world to stay airborne at low-Earth orbit through altitudes of roughly 112 to 1,200 miles, and must finish orbits within an hour and a half. When a satellite heads toward the horizon, it will pass along its signal duties to another satellite. If widespread and continuous coverage is the aim, many satellites are needed. In its FCC application, Amazon said its satellites would operate at altitudes of roughly 370 to 390 miles.
According to reports in April, citing three sets of March filings made to the International Telecommunications Union, Amazon’s Project Kuiper initiative will come at the cost billions of dollars. However, it was said at the time that it will generate billions of dollars if the technology is commercially deployed. It was noted that almost four billion people around the world don’t have reliable internet access.