Amazon has been working on a giant satellite consolation for quite some time. The project dubbed Project Kuiper aims at providing space-based broadband internet coverage. Customers will need antennas to access the constellation and the benefits it offers. Interestingly, Amazon has already revealed the design of the antennas.

After undergoing development and tests, Amazon now has an antenna with a phased-array design. Its diameter is 12 inches only, and according to the company, it is smaller and lighter than conventional antennas. Its tests show that the antenna can offer not less than 400 Mbps throughput. It is also suitable for streaming 4K videos from geostationary satellites as long as they are not more than 22,000 miles from the Earth.

The Amazon satellite constellation will be relatively close to the Earth. According to the Federal Communications Commission’s approval to Amazon, the latter can launch the satellites within the range of 590 km to 630 km, equivalent to 366 miles to 391 miles. The Project Kuiper comprises 3236 satellites. Thanks to the proximity to Earth and the large number, low-latency, broadband internet can be possible. There is hope to the areas that have never experienced the convectional high-speed internet, most remote areas.

Amazon will join other companies aiming to achieve the same once the launch is complete. An excellent example of its predecessor is SpaceX. Although SpaceX has a long way to go since its target is 12,000 satellites, it has already started the journey. Its constellation has almost 1,000 Starlink satellites. Its beta testing has begun, and some customers are enjoying the satellite’s internet coverage. On the other hand, Amazon has yet to reveal the launching vehicle, leave alone launching its satellites.

As a result of overlaying tiny antenna element structure over each other, Amazon’s terminals will be relatively small. Thanks to the compactness, the cost of hardware used will also be relatively low. Consequently, it will be possible for customers to get one at a relatively low price. According to Project Keiper’s vice president of technology, Rajeev Badyal, the company is already aware that the targeted market is communities that are either underserved or unserved. Therefore, a reasonable price is the only thing that can make sense to such a population.

From photos, one can tell that the Starlink satellite’s antenna is longer than 12 inches hence larger than the Amazon Antenna. As far as its price is concerned, it stands at an initial cost of $499 and a monthly subscription of $99. Whether Amazon will offer a better deal is something that remains a mystery as of now. 

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