Skip to Content
Space

Now Amazon plans to launch a massive constellation of more than 3,000 internet satellites

The company is joining firms like SpaceX and OneWeb, which all want to send huge numbers of satellites into low Earth orbit to connect underserved areas with broadband.

How it works: The plan, dubbed Project Kuiper, will send satellites up into orbit at three different altitudes. There will be 784 satellites at 367 miles (591 kilometers), 1,296 satellites at 379 miles, and 1,156 satellites at 391 miles, according to a filing with the International Telecommunications Union, which oversees global telecom satellite operations. Combined, these satellites will provide internet access to more than 95% of the global population, according to Amazon.

More details: A spokesperson said, “This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet.” It’s not yet clear if Amazon will manufacture or buy its satellites, or when it will start to provide satellite broadband services. Before it does, it will need to obtain approval from the US Federal Communications Commission, and it will need to show how it plans to decommission its satellites and manage its role in the growing problem of space debris.

Not alone: Amazon is one of several companies planning to provide broadband in this way. SpaceX, OneWeb, and Facebook are all working on internet satellite projects.

Read more: Why the future of satellite internet might be decided in rural Alaska

Sign up here for our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.  

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks

One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.

Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?

Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.

How to befriend a crow

I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.

Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not

Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.