As Amazon gears up to build and launch thousands of satellites for its Project Kuiper constellation, it’s talking up the space-based broadband network’s potential to enable new options for managing data traffic with Amazon Web Services — including private connectivity services that never touch the public internet.
Amazon also announced that Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., NTT Docomo and SKY Perfect JSAT have formed a strategic collaboration with Project Kuiper to bring advanced satellite connectivity options to their customers. NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT plan to distribute Kuiper services to enterprises and government organizations in Japan, while NTT Group companies will use Project Kuiper to boost wireless broadband connectivity for customers.
NTT and its associated companies, along with SKY Perfect JSAT, join Verizon and Vodafone as telecom partners for Amazon’s Project Kuiper, which aims to provide broadband data services to tens of millions of people around the world who are currently underserved.
Such partners are expected to be among the first beta testers for Project Kuiper’s network in the second half of 2024. Two weeks ago, Amazon said that two prototype satellites achieved a “100% success rate” in a series of orbital tests, opening the way for mass production to begin next month at a factory in Kirkland, Wash.
Project Kuiper is far behind SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network, which already has more than 2 million subscribers. Starlink’s satellites are built in Redmond, Wash., not far from Project Kuiper’s HQ. To catch up with Starlink, Amazon plans to leverage synergies with AWS as well as the company’s other lines of business, including Prime Video and online retail sales.