Amazon’s satellite internet project isn’t available yet, but customers will be able to choose from a standard terminal capable of up to 400Mbps or a high-bandwidth satellite dish that can get up to 1Gbps.
Amazon has revealed a range of customer terminals that connect to its broadband satellite network, Project Kuiper. In a blog post published on Tuesday, Amazon says its designs are “smaller, more affordable, and more capable” than competitors, such as the terminal offered by Elon Musk’s Starlink.
The company’s first device is Project Kuiper’s “standard” customer terminal, which Amazon initially revealed the design for in 2020. It measures less than 11 inches square and one inch thick. The terminal weighs less than five pounds — not counting its mounting bracket — and is capable of offering speeds of up to 400Mbps. Amazon says it expects to produce this terminal for less than $400.
There’s also an even more compact terminal weighing only one pound and measuring just seven inches square. Amazon says this device is its “smallest and most affordable” one and can deliver speeds up to 100MBps, making it ideal for anyone who needs a low-cost internet option or service on the go. Lastly, Amazon showed off its commercial terminal that’s meant for use by large companies or government organizations. It’s the biggest and most powerful of all three terminals, measuring at 19 by 30 inches and providing speeds of up to 1Gbps.
All of these terminals come outfitted with Amazon’s in-house baseband chip, nicknamed Prometheus. According to Amazon, the chip “combines the processing power of a 5G modem chip found in modern smartphones, the capability of a cellular base station to handle traffic from thousands of customers at once, and the ability of a microwave backhaul antenna to support powerful point-to-point connection.”
Project Kuiper is Amazon’s initiative to connect people to the internet across the globe using a constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites. Amazon’s expected to launch its first round of satellites in the first half of 2024 and should switch on service for its first customers later that year. It’s still not clear where Project Kuiper will start offering internet first, nor how much they will cost customers.
“Our goal with Project Kuiper is not just to connect unserved and underserved communities, but also to delight them with the quality, reliability, and value of their service,” Rajeev Badyal, Amazon’s vice president of technology for Project Kuiper, says in a statement.
In the meantime, Amazon’s set to deploy its first two prototype satellites on the United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket, which should occur sometime in May of this year.