Amazon intends to compete with Starlink through its project called Kuiper. Now we know about the three satellite dishes that will be made available to customers according to their specific needs.
The Amazon Kuiper project is not yet available, but the American form has already featured three different satellite dishes in a blog post. Amazon claims that these satellite dishes are more affordable and perform better than competitors, including Starlink.
Three antennas according to the needs
The standard square antenna is approximately 28 centimeters on a side and 2.5 centimeters in height, it should be adequate for most clients. This antenna, which should be priced at less than $400, should offer a download rate of 400 Mbps. In comparison, Starlink offers a speed of up to 500 Mbps, with an antenna billed at €450 and a subscription of €50 per month. .
Amazon has also presented a more compact terminal, it measures less than 18 centimeters and weighs less than 450 grams. This model will offer a bandwidth of up to 100 Mbps in download speed, it will be especially suitable for traveling. The largest antenna measures approximately 48 x 76 centimeters. The latter is mainly intended for companies that need a very fast Internet connection. According to Amazon, it will reach speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
We learn that all antenna models are based on a chip called Prometheusand developed by Amazon. The latter should combine the performance of a 5G modem chip, like the one found in today’s smartphones, with the capabilities of a cellular base station that can handle thousands of connections simultaneously. The Prometheus chip will also be used in Amazon’s satellites and gateway antennas on Earth, where it can handle traffic of up to 1 Tbps.
Goal: 3,200 satellites in low orbit
According to Amazon’s plans, the first two prototypes of the satellite network should be launched in May 2023. Mass production is expected to begin in late 2023. In the first half of 2024, Amazon is expected to launch its first satellites, than to allow the first customers to use it the same year. The long-term goal is to deploy more than 3,200 satellites into low orbit, which is on the same order of length as SpaceX’s Starlink.
These satellites will operate on the following Ka band frequencies: 17.7-18.6 GHz (downlink), 18.8-20.2 GHz (downlink) and 27.5-30.0 GHz (uplink). Global coverage will not be complete, since these satellites will cover the needs of users located between latitudes 56°N and 56°S. This includes the entire United States (with the exception of Alaska), as well as Europe and other regions of the world located between these latitudes.
Amazon plans to use all of the major Western heavy launchers to deploy its satellites except those from SpaceX and the Japanese H3 launcher. The satellites will thus be put into orbit thanks to the future Vulcan (United Launch Alliance / ULA), Ariane 6 (ArianeGroup) and New Glenn (Blue Origin) rockets. It makes a lot of sense that Amazon is collaborating with Blue Origin, since this company was created by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.
Keep in mind that Starlink has a considerable head start. Recently, after deploying almost 3,000 satellites, Starlink inaugurated a new generation of satellites. The offer has been expanded, with offers adapted to mobility, all over the world, the new generation of satellites will even make it possible to offer satellite Internet in cars and on smartphones.
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