HomeTechnologyNewsAmazon satellite internet won't need a giant antenna

Amazon satellite internet won’t need a giant antenna

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Satellite internet is quickly becoming more useful with the introduction of low-orbit networks, such as Starlink and Iridium, and Amazon has been building its own network. Amazon has now revealed more details about how it will work.

Project Kuiper is Amazon’s developing satellite internet network, which aims to provide fast internet anywhere in the world using 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit. Amazon said it would use 92 heavy-lift launches from Arianespace, Blue Origin and the United Launch Alliance to get the custom satellites into space. Amazon says its satellites should perform better than Starlink satellites, handle traffic of up to 1 terabit per second (Tbps) and last about seven years in orbit before they need to be replaced.

Amazon now shows the terrestrial terminals that will be used to connect to the Kuiper network. The smallest and most affordable option will be the “ultra-compact” model, pictured above, which is just seven inches wide and weighs about a pound. Despite the small size, Amazon says it will provide speeds of up to 100 Mbps, which should be fast enough for standard web browsing and some remote work.

big flat antenna
Amazon

There will also be a “standard” layout, which will likely be the most popular choice for regular homes and businesses. That’s an 11-inch square, weighing five pounds and with a top speed of “up to 400 megabits per second (Mbps).” Finally, there will be a “pro” model that measures 19 x 30 inches. It should reach speeds of up to 1 Gbps and is primarily intended for oil rigs, ocean-going ships, or other similar use cases.

Amazon won’t say what the monthly cost of the service will be, or exactly how much the antennas will cost, except that the standard terminal will cost less than $400 to produce (not the cost to buyers). Amazon will launch the first two prototype satellites in May, on the debut mission of United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket, with full-scale satellite production expected to begin in the first half of 2024. Amazon plans to launch the service once there are a few hundred satellites in orbit.

The idea of ​​fast Internet access from almost anywhere in the world is exciting, but there are still problems. Large satellite networks like Starlink and Project Kuiper require a constant rate of rocket launches to replenish the satellites, as the low orbit required for fast speeds also means they fall back to Earth after a few years. The fuel used for most rocket launches is incredibly harmful to the environment, although work is underway to develop less dangerous alternatives. Starlink’s satellites have also made ground-based astronomy more difficult, which SpaceX is trying to mitigate on newer satellites with design changes.

Source: CNBC, Cord Cutters News, Amazon

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