Verizon is to partner up with Amazon to use its proposed satellite internet system to expand rural broadband access in the US.
“We’re proud to be working together to explore bringing fast, reliable broadband to the customers and communities who need it most,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement.
Amazon’s Project Kuiper’, is a network of 3,236 satellites to provide high-speed internet to anywhere in the world. Amazon has yet to launch its first Kuiper satellites, but the Federal Communications Commission last year authorized the system and the company has said that it plans to “invest more than $10 billion.”
The partnership will see Verizon use Amazon’s system as an extension of its terrestrial service, with Kuiper adding “cellular backhaul solutions to extend Verizon’s 4G/LTE and 5G data networks.”
The companies see a wide variety of use cases for Kuiper’s extension of Verizon’s network, noting that it will look at “joint connectivity solutions” for industries including agriculture, energy, manufacturing, education, emergency response, transportation and more.
Elon Musk’s Starlink network is the early leader in the market, with 1,740 satellites launched to date and more than 100,000 users in 14 countries who are participating in a public beta, with service priced at $99 a month.