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Verizon to Develop Connectivity Solutions With Amazon’s Project Kuiper

By Rachel Jewett | October 26, 2021

Photo: Via Satellite

Verizon Communications has established a strategic partnership with Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite constellation to expand coverage and deliver new connectivity solutions. In a Tuesday announcement, the companies said they will pair Verizon’s terrestrial mobile network with the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network, and use Project Kuiper to deliver cellular backhaul for Verizon’s 4G/LTE and 5G data networks in rural areas. 

The companies said they have begun to develop technical specifications and define preliminary commercial models for connectivity services for U.S. and global enterprise customers. 

The collaboration will start with cellular backhaul solutions, and the companies said they will use Project Kuiper’s antenna development that is already in progress, details of which were shared late last year. In the future, the companies said they will work together on new solutions for industries including agriculture, energy, manufacturing, and transportation. 

“Project Kuiper offers flexibility and unique capabilities for a LEO satellite system, and we’re excited about the prospect of adding a complementary connectivity layer to our existing partnership with Amazon,” Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg said. “We know the future will be built on our leading 5G network, designed for mobility, fixed wireless access and real-time cloud compute. More importantly, we believe that the power of this technology must be accessible for all.” 

Verizon is the largest wireless carrier in the United States. U.S. mobile network operators are placing votes of confidence in LEO satellite networks, as AT&T recently signed a distribution agreement with LEO operator OneWeb

Amazon plans for Project Kuiper to be a constellation of 3,236 satellites. The company is fairly quiet on development for the constellation, but has committed $10 billion to the initial program.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said Amazon looks forward to partnering with companies and organizations around the world who are committed to closing the digital divide, pointing to the likelihood of more agreements like this in the future.