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 many Amazon satellites are there?
Amazon internet will be comprised of 3,236 satellites by the time it's all put together, but Amazon doesn't have any satellites in orbit yet. Project Kuiper is, however, planning to launch two prototype satellites into orbit soon here in 2023. Prototypes are the first step to functional internet, so keep a close eye on this page throughout 2023 for all related updates.
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 says it hopes to create customer terminals (the home satellite dish customers will use) for less than $400. For comparison, Starlink at-home satellites have a $500 equipment cost for users.
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. Knowing Amazon’s common marketing techniques, it could and likely would 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.
Of course, HughesNet and Viasat don't make you pay for your equipment at all. But those are GEO, not LEO, satellite services--even if they are increasing their speeds with new satellite launches in 2023.
What altitude will Amazon Kuiper orbit?
Amazon's Project Kuiper will orbit 370 to 390 miles above the earth's surface, according to its FCC filing.4 That means the future constellation is in low-earth orbit, much like Starlink, though Project Kuiper will be just a bit higher compared to Starlink's 340-mile-above-earth orbit.
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.
How is Kuiper satellite different from Starlink?
Amazon recently revealed that it will be releasing two Kuiper satellites (or customer terminals, as it calls them) with its satellite internet service in the future. Unlike Starlink's satellites, Amazon satellites will be square and come in two different sizes for either more residential or portable use.
Project Kuiper's at-home internet will be 11 inches in size and capable of 400 Mbps, but the smaller Kuiper satellite model will be only 7 inches large, capable of portable internet use, and will be able to deliver up to 100 Mbps.
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.