To the stars

The low Earth orbit market is about to get a competitor to Starlink.

03 June 2024

Starlink may have been first to space, but it’s certainly not going to be the last. At last count in April, there were 5 874 Starlink satellites in orbit, of which 5 800 were transmitting data. Amazon has just two test units – KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2 – which they got into orbit on October 6 last year aboard an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance (ULA).

Starlink now has over 2.6 million customers, but Amazon may be betting on second-mover advantage. It will bring its mighty customer service operation to bear, and it also has the world’s biggest cloud, a global distribution system, and is arguably being run by people with cooler heads than the Starlink boss. Enterprises will like its focus on privacy.

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