Tech Talk: Amazon Works To Provide Internet Access To Users Everywhere

NicoElNino / Shutterstock.com

 

Amazon may have solidified itself in recent years as the largest ecommerce platform in the world, but this year, the Seattle, Washington, company will reach new heights of success—literally. In the fourth quarter, Amazon has plans to release two prototype satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2. Coming during a time when the space race is heating up and as technology is expanding exponentially, the prototypes are the first step in Amazon’s larger plan to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites by mid-2026.

Amazon’s satellites are anticipated to be a real gamechanger, not only for the world’s underserved communities that lack internet access, but also for businesses everywhere, Amazon included. Known as Project Kuiper, a subsidiary of Amazon and its satellite-based broadband system, the project goal is to provide internet access to some of the most remote locations, from mountain tops to below the ocean floor, writes Vox. Through a partnership with New York-based wireless network provider Verizon, Amazon aims to provide long-term evolution (LTE) and 5G service to people everywhere.

Broadband internet access was declared a basic human right by the United Nations General Assembly in 2016, but still, many countries have a large population who are without internet access. For instance, half of India's population, some 685 million people, don't have internet access, nor do 41 percent of people in China (around 582 million), according to Visual Capitalist, using data from DataReportal. Greater access to the internet isn’t only a convenience for people everywhere, but it’s also a renewed opportunity for businesses to reach prospective customers and clients, and vice versa.

In addition to internet connectivity, there’s something else for users to gain access to, and that’s better pricing. Even though worldwide internet access will augment competition, Mark Buell, North American regional vice president of the Internet Society—an international advocacy organization for open development and internet use—told Vox that it will translate, in the long term, to more economical prices. “Increasing competition in the market over the next few years is likely to drive innovation that will lead to an increase in the quality of service and, ideally, more affordable prices,” he said.

And certainly, there’s a lot of chatter about another gain for Amazon, specifically the expansion of Amazon’s Web Services (AWS), or its cloud-computing services. Already used by commercial and government clients alike, AWS assists in the construction of satellites and the execution of space launches and operations. Used by a roster of companies that include NASA, Walt Disney Company, Pfizer and SAP, Amazon is already recognized as one of the world’s largest cloud-computing services, and by providing internet access to the world, it’s positioning itself to accrue more global clients.

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.

Read time:
words
Comments (0)
Leave a reply