Bezos vs Musk: Amazon will launch satellites into outer space in 2024

No.Or is it hard to imagine Elon Musk brandishing a lightsaber defiantly; perhaps it would be more surprising to see, in front of him, Jeff Bezos holding an intergalactic weapon to accept the challenge. However, the duel between the two tycoons is served and the setting will be outer space.

Starlink, more than a million users

SpaceXwith your service starlink, currently dominates the satellite internet business thanks to a network of about 4,000 satellites in Earth orbit. His goal is even more ambitious, with plans to put up to 12,000. The expansion has even raised the concern of astronomers. The reason, light pollution, which prevents their observations.

Three years after starting to launch satellites (2019), the service reached one million users in December and is active in 33 countriesincluding Dominican Republicwhere it began operating at the end of July.

Very soon, the Starlink satellites will encounter a new competitor, which will find its place in the orbit of the planet. Amazon launches to conquer its part of the business, and will begin its satellite internet service next year.

Amazon, ambitious goal

confirmed it Dave Limp, head of devices for the bigtech, in statements collected by Yahoo. “We will definitely beta test commercial customers in 2024,” he said during a conference in Washington.

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The idea is that during the first half of the month the first satellites are launched and, shortly after, the first tests begin to be carried out so that, when the service is ready, it can begin to be marketed. His name is Kuiper Project.

“Our mission is to provide fast and affordable bandwidth for communities devoid of traditional communication technologies,” says the Amazon website. The project has the ambition of reaching tens of millions of usersand began with a first challenge: “design a service terminal with a construction cost of less than US$500”.

Amazon engineers did it in 2020, thanks to an antenna architecture smaller and lighter than the traditional ones. The results were revealed by the company recently.

Three types of terminal

Amazon offered details of what the terminals of its future service will be like at the aforementioned Washington conference:

standard terminal

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Photo: Amazon

It will be 11 inches square, with an inch thick. Despite its small size, the company points out that it will offer a connection of 400 megabits per second (Mbps). They hope to produce them for less than $400.

reduced terminal

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Photo: Amazon

Amazon will offer a terminal that is just 7 square inches and weighs one pound. It will reach a speed of 100Mbps.

most powerful terminal

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Photo: Amazon

Users who have a greater need for bandwidth, for example companies or institutions, will have the option of accessing a terminal with a speed of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). The measurements of the terminal are 19×30 inches.

“Since day one, our technology and business decisions have been focused on offering the best experience to users around the world, and this range of terminals reflects their choices,” he says. Rajeev Baydal, Kuiper Project technology president.

chips and installations

The terminals will be built with chips designed by Amazon itself, called Prometheusand which will also be used for satellites.

In terms of production, Amazon prepares some dedicated satellite facilities in Kirkland, Wash. The objective is “mass produce them by the end of 2023”. A few months later, in 2024, the first launches will take place, if the deadlines are met.

As soon as they leave outer space, Amazon’s satellites they will meet the current tenants Earth orbit: those of Starlink. The dance will begin.

Borja Santamaria

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Bezos vs Musk Amazon will launch satellites into outer space

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Bezos vs Musk: Amazon will launch satellites into outer space in 2024