Amazon’s Project Kuiper launches with AWS connectivity, announces collaborations with NTT/SKY in Japan

Amazon has launched ‘Project Kuiper,’ a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband network aimed at connecting underserved communities globally.

The project also targets enterprise, telecommunications, and government clients, emphasizing flexible and secure end-to-end connectivity services.

Components of the Kuiper System

The Kuiper system comprises three main components: ground infrastructure, satellites, and customer terminals. Ground infrastructure includes gateway antennas facilitating secure data exchange with satellites. LEO satellites relay data to and from customer terminals, enabling homes and businesses to access broadband services.

Seamless Connectivity Between Earth and Space

Project Kuiper’s gateway antennas link to AWS Regions worldwide, ensuring connectivity to the internet or routing to customer-specific endpoints, private networks, or other cloud providers.

Recent Protoflight tests demonstrated the system’s capability to support online shopping, 4K video streaming, and two-way video calls, showcasing its end-to-end network functionality.

Flexible Networking and Support

Amazon emphasizes the design of Project Kuiper for flexible, multipurpose connectivity services. Leveraging a software-defined network and AWS services, the system dynamically manages data traffic to optimize network capacity.

As the project plans to serve millions of customers, backend operational and business support systems will scale on AWS, enhancing the overall user experience.

Private Connectivity for Enhanced Security

To enhance control and flexibility, Amazon introduces a private connectivity service, allowing enterprise and public sector customers to move data directly into AWS without accessing the public internet.

Project Kuiper aims to extend similar options for private data movement into customers’ data centers or other public clouds in the future, enhancing security and compliance.

Strategic Collaboration in Japan

NTT, NTT DOCOMO, NTT Com, and SKY Perfect JSAT collaborate with Project Kuiper to bring advanced satellite connectivity options to Japan. The collaboration aims to enhance communications availability and resiliency, especially in challenging terrains or during natural disasters. NTT DOCOMO plans to use Project Kuiper to connect rural areas to its core network without extensive infrastructure development.

Project Kuiper Beta Testing

Amazon plans to commence beta testing of Project Kuiper in the second half of 2024. Early partners like NTT, SKY Perfect JSAT, Verizon, and Vodafone will participate in pilots, experimenting with private connectivity. Interested enterprise, telco, and government partners can register for the pilot program through early 2024.

Commenting on the launch, Rajeev Badyal, Vice President of Technology for Project Kuiper, said:

Project Kuiper was established by Amazon with the goal of providing cost-effective broadband connectivity to millions of customers globally. Leveraging AWS allows us to expedite and expand our network deployment and business operations. By operating the Kuiper network in the cloud, we can swiftly broaden our residential connectivity services worldwide and enable our business clients to seamlessly access essential data and services from virtually any corner of the globe.

Author: Varun Krish

Varun Krish is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast and has been blogging about mobile phones since 2005. His current phones include the Apple iPhone 13 Pro and Google Pixel 6. You can follow him on Twitter @varunkrish and on Google+ You can also mail Varun Krish