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Verizon to use Amazon's LEO satellite network to bring internet to remote users

Verizon to use Amazon's LEO satellite network to bring internet to remote users
Photo Credit: Amazon
27 Oct, 2021

Verizon Communications is planning to use Amazon's Project Kuiper, a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite network, to bring internet access to unserved and underserved communities in the US in addition to developing connectivity solutions for their global enterprise customers operating from rural and remote locations around the world. 

As part of the collaboration, Verizon will link it's terrestrial mobile network with Project Kuiper's LEO satellites and also use it to deliver cellular backhaul solutions to expand their 4G/LTE and 5G data networks to rural and remote communities in the US.  

Verizon and Project Kuiper will also work on developing connectivity solutions for domestic and global enterprises across  industries. 

"There are billions of people without reliable broadband access, and no single company will close the digital divide on its own. We look forward to partnering with companies and organizations around the world who share this commitment," Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon said in a statement. 

"Together, Verizon 5G and the Amazon LEO satellite network can create resilient enterprise connectivity solutions. Our aim is to unlock the power of reliable connectivity for our customers, so they can fully leverage our growing ecosystem. Utilizing backhaul solutions, we can expand our connectivity even further, and complement our 4G LTE and 5G network," Sampath Sowmyanarayan, chief revenue officer for Verizon Business, said in a statement.  

Amazon and Verizon had earlier collaborated for a  Voice Interoperability Initiative that leveraged Verizon's 5G Edge MEC platform and AWS Wavelength, a 5G based Edge computing infrastructure.  

Launched in 2019, Project Kuiper currently has 3,236 LEO satellites in its constellation. Due to their proximity to the earth's surface, these satellites can beam high speed internet from space on the ground. They can boost internet access in areas where cable and tower based internet is still not available.

Project Kuiper's key rival Startlink, led by SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk, is reportedly in talks with Vodafone to expand their satellite services in the UK.  

Startlink currently has over 1600 Internet satellites in LEO orbit. According to reports, Startlink is also expected to roll out its services to users in India sometime in 2022.