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Amazon's Starlink Rival Completes First Launch of Its Satellite Internet Network

Project Kuiper is Amazon's endeavor to beam internet service from orbit.

David Lumb Mobile Reporter
David Lumb is a mobile reporter covering how on-the-go gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches change our lives. Over the last decade, he's reviewed phones for TechRadar as well as covered tech, gaming, and culture for Engadget, Popular Mechanics, NBC Asian America, Increment, Fast Company and others. As a true Californian, he lives for coffee, beaches and burritos.
Expertise smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, telecom industry, mobile semiconductors, mobile gaming
Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
Expertise News, mobile, broadband, 5G, home tech, streaming services, entertainment, AI, policy, business, politics Credentials
  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
David Lumb
Corinne Reichert
2 min read
A large rocket payload with a big Amazon logo complete with smile arrow, planned to place atop an Atlas V rocket, sits in a pre-launch hanger.

Amazon has successfully launched the first test satellites for its Project Kuiper broadband satellite network.


Amazon has completed its long-delayed first launch of satellites for Project Kuiper, the company's planned orbital internet network

A pair of test satellites aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, just after 2 p.m. ET Friday, as shown by launch footage that ULA posted on X (formerly Twitter). If all goes well, the satellites will be deployed at an altitude of 311 miles above the ground and remain in low Earth orbit for testing.

The two satellites are prototypes of the eventual 3,200-plus broadband satellite constellation Amazon plans to build and deploy over the next six years.

Locating local internet providers

Project Kuiper is Amazon's plan to build out a new service category to rival Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet from SpaceX, which already has thousands of satellites in orbit providing internet to over a million customers in multiple countries. Amazon CEO Andy Jassey has said the Kuiper satellite service will be a core part of the business going forward.

While the original plan, set last October, was for Kuiper's initial launch to be on ULA's newest Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle, which uses engines built by Blue Origin (a company helmed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos), it was instead mounted on an Atlas V rocket. ULA's next launch is set to be the first with the Vulcan rocket.

Locating local internet providers

When will you be able to get internet service from Amazon?

Amazon aims to begin launching its operational satellites in the first half of next year, with beta testing for commercial customers planned around the end of 2024, as reported earlier Friday by Cord Cutters News.

Amazon's Project Kuiper aims to be available to consumers, government, health care, businesses and various organizations so they can obtain affordable broadband services where there isn't already access to fast, reliable internet.

As well as regular customers, Amazon says that in the event of natural disasters or other emergencies, Project Kuiper terminals can be quickly deployed to add internet infrastructure.

How to get Amazon's internet service

So far, Amazon has partnered with Vodafone in Europe and Vodacom in Africa to extend their 4G and 5G networks, so once it launches, you'll be able to gain access to Amazon's satellite internet through those providers if you're living in those regions. Vodafone and Vodacom will install Project Kuiper infrastructure alongside their cellular towers. 

As launch of the beta service nears, more information will become available on how you'll be able to sign up for it in other parts of the world.