Online retail giant Amazon plans to launch more than 3,000 satellites into low-orbit as part of its Project Kuiper to provide high-speed internet around the globe.
The company said that the satellites can be operated cheaply and will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to those who lack online access.
The project was first reported by Geekwire, which discovered the initiative after the details were filed with the United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union last month.
Amazon has yet to reveal whether it will build its own satellites or buy them from a third party, and has not said how it plans to launch the rockets into orbit.
Amazon owner Jeff Bezos has his own spaceflight company Blue Origin, but a spokesperson confirmed to Geekwire that the company “will, of course, look at all options”.
There is no time frame for the project, although Amazon will have to receive approval from the Federal Communications Commission before it can proceed.
A spokesperson from Amazon said: “Project Kuiper is a new initiative to launch a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world.
“This is a long-term project that envisions serving tens of millions of people who lack basic access to broadband internet. We look forward to partnering on this initiative with companies that share this common vision.”
Amazon is one of a number of companies planning to use a network of satellites to offer broadband around the world. The company will have to face-off against competing companies such as SpaceX, OneWeb and Facebook.
Billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX plans to launch as many as 12,000 satellites as part of its Starlink constellation, while Airbus-backed OneWeb says it wants to launch 650 satellites, having already put its first six satellites into orbit. Facebook, too, is developing its own internet satellite.