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Jeff Bezos' Project Kuiper and AWS integration: a stellar leap in global satellite internet services

Allen Hsieh, Taipei; Vyra Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

From Blue Origin to Project Kuiper and the seamless integration with AWS, Jeff Bezos' space ambitions are no longer just dreams; they're manifesting into reality with each satellite launch, connecting a network of services.

In October 2023, Amazon's low Earth orbit(LEO) satellite initiative, Project Kuiper, successfully launched two prototype satellites, marking Amazon's official entry into the fiercely competitive LEO satellite market. Fast forward a month, and Amazon proudly reported a flawless 100% success rate in satellite and subsystem operations. The test showcased the satellite network's capabilities, facilitating 4K video streaming and two-way video calls—an unequivocal success.

In the realm of AWS integration, the recently concluded AWS re:Invent 2023 in late November brought exciting news regarding Project Kuiper. AWS CEO Adam Selipsky revealed that Project Kuiper aims to revolutionize global satellite internet services by deploying an extensive array of LEO satellites. The first batch is already operational, allowing users to transmit data to the AWS cloud via satellite communication, liberating them from reliance on ground networks.

According to Selipsky's insights, as the satellite deployment matures, data will flow seamlessly from user terminals to Project Kuiper satellites, then relayed to Project Kuiper ground stations, traversing the core network before reaching users via the public internet or private networks connected to AWS cloud services.

In a surprising turn, despite being rivals, Amazon decided to collaborate with SpaceX for satellite launches instead of relying on Blue Origin, which faced developmental setbacks. This move signifies SpaceX's cost-effectiveness and superior service quality. It also underscores the challenges Blue Origin encountered in its development timeline. This collaboration stems from conditions set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), requiring Amazon to launch half of the planned satellites into the designated orbit by mid-2026—a goal spurring the alliance with SpaceX.

The launch is slated for mid-2025, and if the launch service providers partnered with Amazon aren't ready, SpaceX is poised to play a crucial role in ongoing Project Kuiper satellite launches.

Project Kuiper is gearing up for an accelerated satellite manufacturing phase in the first half of 2024, with preliminary tests scheduled with customers in the latter half of 2024.

The successful launch and testing of Project Kuiper's initial satellites are expected to catalyze the expansion of AWS services. In the future, areas devoid of mobile network signals, such as desert oil refineries or the open sea, can still transmit data to AWS via Project Kuiper's LEO satellites. Amazon's initial aspirations in the LEO satellite sector are increasingly attainable, with Project Kuiper quickly gaining ground and seamlessly integrating with AWS. As Blue Origin ascends to new heights, Jeff Bezos' dreams of space exploration are being solidified into tangible achievements.