Amazon will launch the first two internet satellites in 2022
“The selection process was long, arduous and difficult, it took several days to open the hood and see what was underneath,” Harry O’Hanley, ABL’s managing director, said in an interview. . “I would say they’ve gone as far, or further, than we’ve ever seen a business go.”
Amazon’s prototype satellite pair will test Internet connections between space and the company’s flat and square antennas for consumers on the ground for the first time as part of Amazon’s Kuiper program. Regions for testing include parts of South America, the Asia-Pacific region, and central Texas. Past experiments involved flying drones with satellite equipment over ground antennas and connecting ground antennas to other companies’ satellites already in space, shooting internet speeds fast enough to broadcast broadcasts. high definition videos.
Like other parts of Amazon’s device business, employees working on Kuiper face pressure to cut costs as they develop a final version of the company’s consumer antenna. The company is considering a range of pricing options, from charging customers for the antenna and any accompanying wires, to an “extreme” case where it gives the antenna to customers for free, Mr. Badyal.
“We’re super focused on reducing costs so that the total cost of ownership for customers is low,” he said, adding that engineers have updated the antenna design since Amazon l ‘revealed last year. “When you build satellites, you don’t necessarily count pennies, but when you build a client terminal, we count pennies and sub-cents. “
The penny tally comes from its device unit’s playbook, where Amazon has experience producing consumer electronics like Alexa smart speakers and Fire sticks for TV streaming. .
At a conference last month, Andy Jassy, chief executive of Amazon, cited Project Kuiper as an example of the company’s efforts to innovate even as it has grown so big. He said Amazon needed “blind faith” in its ability to understand complex new technology. But he added, “You have to make sure how you plan to operate it and what the customer experience will be like, that customers will embrace it and find it fairly easy and engaging to use.