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Amazon’s Project Kuiper highlights new connections to AWS and partners in Japan

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A Project Kuiper satellite terminal is set up with a wind farm in the background. (Amazon Photo)

As Amazon gears up to build and launch thousands of satellites for its Project Kuiper constellation, it’s talking up the space-based broadband network’s potential to enable new options for managing data traffic with Amazon Web Services — including private connectivity services that never touch the public internet.

Amazon also announced that Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., NTT Docomo and SKY Perfect JSAT have formed a strategic collaboration with Project Kuiper to bring advanced satellite connectivity options to their customers. NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT plan to distribute Kuiper services to enterprises and government organizations in Japan, while NTT Group companies will use Project Kuiper to boost wireless broadband connectivity for customers.

NTT and its associated companies, along with SKY Perfect JSAT, join Verizon and Vodafone as telecom partners for Amazon’s Project Kuiper, which aims to provide broadband data services to tens of millions of people around the world who are currently underserved.

Such partners are expected to be among the first beta testers for Project Kuiper’s network in the second half of 2024. Two weeks ago, Amazon said that two prototype satellites achieved a “100% success rate” in a series of orbital tests, opening the way for mass production to begin next month at a factory in Kirkland, Wash.

Project Kuiper is far behind SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network, which already has more than 2 million subscribers. Starlink’s satellites are built in Redmond, Wash., not far from Project Kuiper’s HQ. To catch up with Starlink, Amazon plans to leverage synergies with AWS as well as the company’s other lines of business, including Prime Video and online retail sales.

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Even before the satellite network is in place, Amazon is emphasizing the availability of secure, end-to-end connectivity through Project Kuiper and AWS as a selling point.

“Running the Kuiper network in the cloud means we can rapidly extend our residential connectivity services to countries around the world and help our business customers access the data and services they need from virtually any location on the planet,” Rajeev Badyal, vice president of technology for Project Kuiper, said today in a news release.

Amazon says its software-defined network will manage data traffic to optimize network capacity.

“By using AWS to support the Kuiper network, we can offer our business customers even more choice and flexibility and help tailor performance to their use cases,” Badyal said. “The same is true for public-sector customers who need secure access to sensitive datasets and workloads stored in AWS GovCloud (US).”

AWS CEO Adam Selipsky highlighted Amazon’s private connectivity service today at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. In the future, Project Kuiper will offer similar options for moving data privately into customers’ own data centers or other public clouds.

“Imagine the power of delivering, in very hard-to-reach places, the ability to access the internet with the same kind of speed and reliability that most of us take for granted every day. The possibilities for consumers are enormous, but so are the benefits to companies and governments,” Selipsky said. “With Project Kuiper’s enterprise-ready private connectivity services, you will be able to move data from virtually anywhere over private, secure connections, and use these connections to reach your data in the AWS cloud.”

Previously: How Amazon’s cloud and satellite ventures mesh

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Source: Geek Wire

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