Amazon has just obtained authorization to launch 3,236 Internet satellites to compete with SpaceX


This Wednesday, July 29, the five commissioners of the FCC (American Federal Communications Commission) voted unanimously to allow Amazon to launch its Kuiper fleet into space and communicate with terrestrial antennas, thus giving the project the documents needed to get started.

“We conclude that granting Kuiper’s demand would serve the public interest in authorizing a system designed to increase the availability of broadband service to consumers, government and businesses,” the FCC wrote in its published order. July 30. In a subsequent announcement, Amazon pledged to invest “more than $ 10 billion” in its effort to provide “reliable and affordable broadband service to unserved and underserved communities around the world.” “A project of this magnitude requires considerable effort and resources and, due to the nature of the constellations [d’orbite terrestre basse], this is not the kind of initiative that can start on a small scale. You have to engage, ”Amazon said.

In May 2018, Gwynne Shotwell, the COO of SpaceX, estimated that it was precisely this sum that was needed to complete the Starlink project.

Bitter competition to dominate the space internet

In his descriptions of Starlink to reporters in May 2019, Elon Musk claimed that SpaceX was trying to capture just 1 to 3% of a global telecommunications market that is worth around $ 1 trillion a year. He also said the project could earn SpaceX between $ 30 billion and $ 50 billion a year, about ten times more than it takes to launch rockets, prompting some analysts to put the company at over 100 billion. billions of dollars.

The same market access and the same capture are undoubtedly applicable to Amazon. This sparked some heated regulatory battles with SpaceX and

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