Amazon gives first look at Project Kuiper satellite internet antennas
The company’s “standard” customer terminal, the middle of the trio of Project Kuiper satellite antennas at under 11 inches square and weighing under five pounds.
WASHINGTON — Amazon revealed a trio of satellite antennas on Tuesday, as the company prepares to take on SpaceX’s Starlink with its own Project Kuiper internet network.
The tech giant said the “standard” version of the satellite antenna, also known as a customer terminal, is expected to cost Amazon less than $400 each to produce.
“Every technology and business decision we’ve had has centered on what will deliver the best experience for different customers around the world, and our range of customer terminals reflect those choices,” Rajeev Badyal, Amazon vice president of technology for Project Kuiper, said in a statement.
Project Kuiper is Amazon’s plan to build a network of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit, to provide high-speed internet to anywhere in the world. The Federal Communications Commission in 2020 authorized Amazon’s system, in which the company has said it will “invest more than $10 billion” to build.
The “standard” design measures under 11 inches square and 1 inch thick, and weighs under 5 pounds. Amazon says the device will deliver speeds to customers of “up to 400 megabits per second (Mbps).”
The “ultra-compact” version of the Project Kuiper
An “ultra-compact” model, which Amazon says is its smallest and most affordable, is a 7-inch square design that weighs about 1 pound and will offer speeds up to 100 Mbps. In additional to residential customers, Amazon plans to offer the antenna to government and enterprise customers for services like “ground mobility and internet of things.”
Its largest “pro” model, at 19 inches by 30 inches, represents a high-bandwidth version for non-residential customers. Amazon says this antenna will be able to “deliver speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps)” via space.
The company’s “Pro” customer terminal, the largest of the trio of Project Kuiper satellite antennas at 19 inches by 30 inches.
Amazon has yet to say what it expects the monthly service cost for Project Kuiper customers will be.
Last year, Amazon announced the biggest corporate rocket deal in the industry’s history, and has booked up to 92 launches from three different companies to deploy the satellites fast enough to meet regulatory requirements.
On Tuesday, Amazon said it expects to begin mass-producing commercial satellites by the end of this year, with launches of production satellites beginning in the first half of 2024 and service slated to begin by the end of 2024.
The company’s prototype Project Kuiper satellites shipping for launch.
The company’s first two prototype satellites are scheduled to launch on the debut mission of United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan rocket, set for May.