US operator Verizon has entered into a partnership with Kuiper, an ambitious satellite venture of Amazon, to expand its 5G coverage in remote areas of the globe. Kuiper is a low earth orbit satellite of Amazon which has been designed to Starlink of Elon Musk and UK-based OneWeb. They will be competing in the next-generation satellite connectivity market. These satellites have better connectivity when compared to the geostationary equivalent as they are closer to the earth. The other advantage of the LEO satellite is that it has lower latency. As part of this partnership, Kuiper would provide connectivity to future Verizon cell towers.
It needs to be stressed that these LEP satellites cannot be connected directly to devices, just like Lynk. Kuiper would launch a constellation of over 3,000 satellites. These satellites would be in low Earth orbit and provide broadband internet coverage. The plan is to provide internet facilities in remote and rural areas. Amazon has plans to invest more than USD 10 billion in this initiative. But it is important to mention that Amazon has yet not launched its first Kuiper satellites. However, the company has got authorization from the Federal Communications Commission last year. Amazon will be required to deploy half of its satellite in the next six years. Kuiper claimed during prototype testing that it can produce uninterrupted speeds of up to 400Mbps.
This is a great deal for Verizon as they would not require too costly infrastructure for this. It is because of this reason that Verizon cannot provide connectivity in rural and hard-to-reach areas in an easier way. This would be possible because Verizon would not be required to lay fiber cables. The process is not only difficult but also expensive. With the help of Kuiper, Verizon would be able to expand 4G and 5G networks without much effort. Both the company has refused to comment on the financial details of this partnership. Teams of both Verizon and Amazon have started to define technical requirements.