Verizon is partnering with Amazon to use the tech giant’s coming satellite internet system to expand rural broadband access in the United States.
Amazon is working on Project Kuiper, a network of 3,236 satellites that it plans to use to provide high-speed internet to anywhere in the world. While Amazon has yet to launch its first Kuiper satellites, the Federal Communications Commission last year authorized the system and the company has said that it plans to “invest more than $10 billion” in Kuiper.
The companies’ 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 said.
Amazon’s and Verizon’s teams have begun working together “to define technical requirements to help extend fixed wireless coverage to rural and remote communities across the United States.”
The companies see a wide variety of use cases for Kuiper’s extension of Verizon’s network, noting it will look at “joint connectivity solutions” for industries including agriculture, energy, manufacturing, education, emergency response, transportation and more.
The FCC’s authorization of Kuiper means Amazon is required to deploy half of its planned satellites within six years, so the company is on the clock to deliver about 1,600 in orbit by July 2026.