Project Kuiper Review 2022: Launch date, specs, and what it means for you

Everything we know about Amazon’s Project Kuiper so far and what to expect

Mikayla Rivera
Managing Editor
Read More
June 30, 2022

What is Project Kuiper?

Project Kuiper is an up and coming low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite internet service provider that’s set to launch 1,500 satellites over the next five years.¹ Kuiper plans to reach a total of 3,236 satellites² to build out its constellation and offer satellite broadband internet worldwide.

Project Kuiper promises to deliver satellite broadband—or what the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) terms internet that delivers at least 25 Mbps—so if you’re in a rural area or a digital nomad, you may want to keep an eye on this service. Satellite internet can reach areas where land-based internet like cable and fiber can’t, even if it does come with higher latency.

Of course, the Kuiper satellites aren’t even up and running yet. And they won’t be for a while. Project Kuiper’s license from the FCC³ says that half of the Amazon company’s satellite constellation must be launched by 2026, and the full constellation by 2029. We’re estimating the service itself could be up anytime between those dates.

If you need reliable satellite internet in the meantime, check out our satellite internet service comparison below.

Check out other satellite internet providers near you

Project Kuiper vs. other satellite internet providers

Project Kuiper
Amazon
Project Kuiper
• Projected low price
• 25–400 Mbps
• Data TBD
Project Not Yet Available
Starlink
Starlink
Starlink
Our Rating
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7
• $110.00–$500.00/mo.
• 50–500 Mbps
• Unlimited Data
HughesNet
HughesNet
HughesNet
Our Rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
• $54.99–$149.99/mo.
• 25 Mbps
• 15–75 GB/mo.
Viasat
Viasat
Viasat
Our Rating
4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2
• $49.99–$199.99/mo.*
• 12–300 Mbps
• 35–150 GB/mo.

Actual speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. *Promotional price is for the first 3 months. Regular internet rate applies after 3 months ($50–$200/mo.). **Service plans require a 24-month commitment.

As you can see, Starlink and Viasat have the fastest satellite internet available right now, and as long as you’re getting only Starlink residential satellite internet, it offers the best speed for the price, with Viasat as a close, and slightly more reliable, second.

We don’t know what Project Kuiper satellite equipment and monthly service will cost as of now, but we’re fairly certain Amazon is gunning for Starlink, so we’d project it to be comparable to Starlink and Viasat prices—possibly even less.

If you want even more details on these satellite internet providers, check out our Best Satellite Internet Review. For more on Project Kuiper and Starlink (and Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk’s space quarrels), see below.

Does Amazon own Project Kuiper?

Amazon, owned partially by Jeff Bezos, does indeed own Project Kuiper. With financial backing like that, we have reason to believe the Kuiper system will be stable once its satellite constellation is actually up and running—especially when you consider that Amazon’s investing $10 billion dollars into the venture. 

It’ll take several launches between now and 2029 for the Project Kuiper team to get the satellite constellation up and running. Fortunately, launches are already planned.

What is the purpose of Project Kuiper?

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Amazon says Project Kuiper’s main aim is to help connect underserved rural communities—but it’s also Amazon we’re talking about here.

Project Kuiper’s goal is to make satellite broadband internet available worldwide and help shrink the digital divide—or that’s what the company likes to make it sound like, anyway. But like all Amazon services and Amazon web services, Project Kuiper’s ultimate goal is to make money.

That may not be bad for customers, though, particularly those impacted negatively by the digital divide. More competition is usually a good thing for customers, especially when it comes to satellite internet, which has had two primary providers (Viasat and HughesNet) most of its existence, with newcomer Starlink rounding them out to three.

Whether or not Project Kuiper will be good for satellite internet customers, or if, in typical Amazon fashion, it attempts to shoot its competitors out of the sky, we’ll have to see. 

We’ll keep this page updated as more information rolls in, so check back with us in the future.

Who will launch Project Kuiper?

Blue Origin, Arianespace, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) will all help Amazon’s Project Kuiper launch its satellites into earth orbit. Each company is prepping its heavy-lift launch vehicle for the endeavor: Blue Origin (Jeff Bezos’s company) will send up New Glenn, Arianespace the Ariane 6, and ULA the Vulcan Centaur.

In fact, Amazon has reserved 83 launches over the next five years with these three companies to get its satellite constellation up—making for the largest commercial group of launch vehicles in history. 

Project Kuiper Launch

The first of Project Kuiper’s satellites will use New Glenn, Ariane 6, and Vulcan Centaur rockets to reach orbit.

Is Project Kuiper part of Blue Origin?

Blue Origin is a space tourism company owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, but it isn’t actually owned by Amazon or therefore Project Kuiper. Blue Origin is, however, one of the three services that’ll be launching Project Kuiper’s satellites into earth’s orbit. Be ready to wave when it sends its New Glenn launch vehicle up with Kuiper satellites.

How fast will Project Kuiper internet be?

Project Kuiper satellite internet will offer up to 400 Mbps, with hopes to offer faster download speeds in the future. That’s already faster than what Viasat or HughesNet offer, and 400 Mbps would give even Starlink’s speedy internet service a run for its money.

Of course, raw download speed and throughput aren’t everything. Latency has a big impact on speed and slow your internet experience. Project Kuiper’s LEO satellites should also help minimize that, since, like Starlink’s satellites, they’ll be closer to Earth to begin with. But we’ll also have to see how well Kuiper maintains its systems after launch.

How much will Project Kuiper cost?

Project Kuiper hasn’t revealed how much its satellite internet service will cost for future customers. But the company has been able to create low-cost customer terminals (that’s just the home satellite dish customers will use) and orbiting satellites. 

Knowing Amazon’s common marketing techniques, it will likely pass these savings on to its customers to stay competitive with rivals like Starlink. 

We don’t know for sure, but it’s possible Amazons Project Kuiper’s goal with its lower-priced equipment is to purposefully compete with Starlink’s up-front equipment costs, which can range from $599 to $2,500. But, of course, we’ll have to see.

Project Kuiper vs. Starlink

If Amazon’s Project Kuiper is giving you SpaceX Starlink vibes, you’re not wrong. We’re pretty sure Jeff Bezos was peeking over at Elon Musk’s paper during study hall. 

As things stand, Starlink Internet has proven itself a satellite internet service to rival even Viasat and HughesNet, the two longest-standing satellite internet providers. Project Kuiper, meanwhile, sounds pretty good on paper, but it hasn’t shown up to prom yet. We’ll have to wait and see if it just talks the talk or walks the walk. 

In the meantime, you can sit back and watch Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk trade cutting remarks at the punch bowl. Will Starlink satellites triumph? Will Jeff Bezos get Kuiper satellites up in time? Grab that popcorn and join us as we watch the juicy drama play out.

Why is it called Project Kuiper?

Amazon’s Project Kuiper was named for the Kuiper Belt, a ring-shaped region just beyond Neptune’s orbit that contains icy bodies like Pluto and comets. The Kuiper Belt itself was named after Gerard Kuiper, the dutch astronomer who first proposed its existence.

Who is Rajeev Badyal and what does he have to do with Kuiper?

Rajeev Badyal is Project Kuiper’s vice president of technology. He’s got plenty of experience in the satellite internet space, too, since he also used to be the vice president of satellites at Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Should you plan to get Project Kuiper when it’s available?

Even though Project Kuiper looks promising, with possibly cheaper equipment prices and satellite constellation coverage that could rival Starlink, Viasat, and HughesNet, we don’t recommend jumping on Project Kuiper the moment it’s available.

We suggest holding off on Project Kuiper once it’s out for two reasons:

  • You want to let Amazon work out the kinks. Every new service runs into unexpected problems once it releases. Let the company work that out while you still (hopefully) have access to an already-reliable satellite service, like Viasat or Starlink.
  • Just because Amazon owns Project Kuiper doesn’t mean it’ll work. Amazon has gotten into a lot of different businesses in the past, and while most are successful, not all of them are. The sheer amount of money Amazon has invested in Project Kuiper makes us hopeful, but there’s no proof until you have the pudding. That’s the saying, right?

Of course, we’ll keep this page updated as we receive more information. There’s a lot of time between now and 2029, so check back with us for more details on Project Kuiper in the future.  

Methodology

Our SatelliteInternet.com editorial team bases our analyses on research, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. We dig deep to get hard-to-find information on internet plans, fees, and upcoming brand developments. We make this information easy for you to find in one place via our in-depth reviews, and we use our satellite internet industry expertise to analyze the options to help you make the most informed decision for your household.

Sources

  1. Alan Boyle, GeekWire, “Amazon reserves up to 83 rocket launches for Project Kuiper broadband satellite constellation,” April 2022. Accessed June 22, 2022.
  2. Amazon, “Press release: Amazon Secures Up to 83 Launches from Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance for Project Kuiper,” April 2022. Accessed June 22 2022.
  3. Federal Communications Commission, “FCC Authorizes Kuiper Satellite Constellation,” July 2020. Accessed June 30, 2022.
  4. Amazon Staff, Amazon, “Amazon receives FCC approval for Project Kuiper satellite constellation,” July 2020. Accessed June 22, 2022.
  5. Mike Brown, Inverse, “AMAZON PROJECT KUIPER: LAUNCH DATE, SPECS, BETA, PLANS FOR STARLINK ALTERNATIVE,” Accessed June 22, 2022.
Mikayla Rivera
Written by
Mikayla Rivera
Mikayla Rivera has worked as an editor for nine years on websites like Reviews.org, HowtoWatch.com, and CableTV.com. As someone who grew up with little to no internet access, she knows how vital it is for education, work, and even play. She’s now determined to help readers get reliable internet speeds, wherever they live. Her passion for internet accessibility, memes, and ethical marketing is rivaled only by her dedication to The Chicago Manual of Style. When Mikayla isn’t managing SatelliteInternet.com, she’s writing novels of her own.