Amazon Web Services and Blue Origin could mean the satellite constellation becomes part of a larger ecosystem.
17 Aug 2020 | 19:00 GMT
By Michael Koziol
Amazon cleared an important hurdle when the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on 30 July that the company was authorized to deploy and operate its Kuiper satellite constellation. The authorization came with the caveat that Amazon would still have to demonstrate that Kuiper would not interfere with previously authorized satellite projects, such as SpaceX’s Starlink.
Even with the FCC’s caveat, it’s tempting to imagine that the idea of putting a mega-constellation of thousands of satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide uninterrupted broadband access anywhere on Earth will become a battle between Jeff Bezos’ Kuiper and Elon Musk’s Starlink. After all, even in space, how much room can there be for two mega-constellations, let alone additional efforts like that of the recently-beleaguered OneWeb? But some experts suggest that Amazon’s real play will come from its ability to vertically integrate Kuiper into the rest of the Amazon ecosystem—an ability SpaceX cannot match with Starlink.