Project Kuiper Review 2023: 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
January 05, 2023

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 Amazon internet. 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 the full constellation won’t be up for a while, though Amazon is planning on launching its first Kuipersat-1 and Kuipersat-2 prototype satellites in 2023.3 Project Kuiper’s license from the FCC4 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
HughesNet
HughesNet
HughesNet
Our Rating
4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1
• $64.99–$149.99/mo.
• 25 Mbps
• 15–100 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.
Starlink
Starlink
Starlink
Our Rating
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7
• $110.00–$500.00/mo.
• 50–500 Mbps
• Unlimited Data

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.

Amazon internet isn't available right now, so as you can see, Starlink and Viasat have the fastest satellite internet you can get your hands on. As long as you’re getting only Starlink residential satellite internet, it offers the best speed for the price, with Viasat as a close if expensive second. That is, of course, if you can get Starlink in the first place. It's the least available, and many people have been on its waitlist for years.

We actually highly recommend HughesNet for its cheaper prices (it may start more expensive than Viasat, but it offers more speed for the comparable package) and lack of price hikes. It even recently raised its data cap to 100 GB.

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

How much will Amazon internet service cost?

Amazon's Project Kuiper satellite equipment and monthly service costs are still to be determined, but we’re fairly certain Amazon is gunning for Starlink. Knowing that Starlink residential internet is $110 a month, we’d project Amazon internet to be priced similarlypossibly even less if it wants to beat out Starlink.

Does Amazon own Project Kuiper?

Amazon, owned partially by Jeff Bezos, does indeed own Project Kuiper. That's where it gets the nickname "Amazon internet." 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 dollars5 into the venture. 

It’ll take several launches between now and 2029 for the team to get the Project Kuiper satellite constellation up and running. Fortunately, launches are already planned for 2023.

What is the purpose of Project Kuiper?

Play Video

Amazon says Project Kuiper’s main aim is to help provide internet connectivity to 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, Amazon's internet service 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. ABL Space Systems was the first company to help Amazon Project Kuiper launch its prototype satellite, and it had plans to help get the KuiperSat-1 and Kuiper-Sat-2 prototypes up at the end of 2022.6  However, ULA's Vulcan Centaur will not handle Kuiper's first satellite launches in 2023, plus another future 38 Kuiper launches.7

Blue Origin, Arianespace, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) are all prepping Amazon's heavy-lift launch vehicle for the whole satellite-constellation-creating endeavor: Blue Origin (Jeff Bezos’s company) will send up New Glenn, Arianespace the Ariane 6, and ULA the Vulcan Centaur (or Vulcan rocket).

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 procurement of launch vehicles in history. That's a lot of possible connectivity in the future, y'all.

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,7 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. Amazon internet service looks sweeter with every update.

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, since LEO satellites require more consistent and constant upkeep than GEO satellites.

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. Amazon internet service can only thrive if it decides to challenge its solid competition.

We don’t know for sure, but it’s possible Amazon 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.

Does Amazon have a internet service?

Amazon’s upcoming LEO satellite internet service is called Project Kuiper. It promises to be a competitive, speedy internet service that will help people from rural and underserved communities get and stay connected, but Amazon's internet service won't be available for a while.

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.

Vice President Kamala Harris recently added Rajeev Badyal to the User Advisory Group of the National Space Council, so he and the other members will help advise the government when facing space regulations, laws, and best practices.

Is Amazon partnered with Verizon?

Amazon internet service is partnering up with Verizon going into the future. Once Amazon's Project Kuiper is operational, Verizon plans to use it to expand its own 5G and 4G mobile network to better serve underserved rural areas. It's also likely Project Kuiper will want to leverage the partnership to create a satellite-wireless internet hybrid to lower satellite internet's innate latency, not unlike HughesNet Fusion's new technology.

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.  

Related Resources

What Is Satellite Internet?
Find out more about satellite internet: how it works, the pros and cons, and about the best satellite internet and TV providers.
mother and son using tablet and laptop
Viasat vs. HughesNet
Viasat and HughesNet are available across the US, but HughesNet offers better prices and Viasat faster speeds. Check out our guide for more.
SpaceX rocket launch
SpaceX Starlink Review
Starlink offers unlimited data and speeds up to 200 Mbps for $110.00/mo. But is Starlink really the best satellite internet choice for you?

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. Kajal Gupta, HiTechWiki, Amazon Launches Its First Kuiper Satellites in 2023, October 2022. Accessed October 18 2022.
  4. Federal Communications Commission, “FCC Authorizes Kuiper Satellite Constellation,” July 2020. Accessed June 30, 2022.
  5. Amazon Staff, Amazon, “Amazon receives FCC approval for Project Kuiper satellite constellation,” July 2020. Accessed June 22, 2022.
  6. Jason Rainbow, SpaceNews, "ABL Space Systems to launch Project Kuiper’s first satellites in 2022," November 2021. Accessed November 30, 2022.
  7. Amazon Staff, Amazon, "Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellites will fly on the new Vulcan Centaur rocket in early 2023," October 2022. Accessed November 30, 2022.
  8. 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.