Amazon acquires Facebook’s ENTIRE internet satellite team as it ramps up plans to provide internet to unserved areas of the world
- A new report reveals Amazon acquired Facebook’s internet satellite team
- The deal included more than a dozen employees who started working for Amazon in April at the tech giant’s Los Angeles location
- The team includes physicists and engineers who had previously worked on aeronautical systems
- Amazon hopes the move will give its internet satellite venture, Project Kuiper, the boost it needs to finally launch satellites into low Earth orbit
Amazon paid an undisclosed amount to Facebook in a deal that acquired more than a dozen satellite internet experts from the social media giant, according to The Information.
The move gives Amazon’s $10 billion Project Kuiper, the amount the firm has vowed to spend, a boost in developing low Earth orbit satellites that will deliver high-speed internet globally.
Facebook began its own internet satellite venture in 2015 and planned to launch its first satellite , dubbed Athena, in 2019.
However, Wednesday’s news reveals the Facebook team has been working for Amazon since April and includes physicists and engineers who have experience working on aeronautical and wireless systems, according to The Information.
Facebook spokesperson told DailyMail.com: ‘We believe satellite technology will enable the next generation of broadband infrastructure, and as part of our connectivity efforts, we’ve built an incredible team around designing and testing new ways to advance satellite connectivity using optical communications and radio frequency systems and solutions.
Amazon paid an undisclosed amount to Facebook in a deal that acquired more than a dozen satellite internet experts from the social media giant. The move gives Amazon’s $10 billion Project Kuiper a boost in developing low Earth orbit satellites that will deliver high-speed internet globally (stock)
‘Facebook remains committed to enabling better, broader global connectivity through the development of new programs, technologies and business models, and we’re excited to watch as this team takes their work to the next stage and makes a lasting impact in the field.’
Not only does the deal beef up Amazon’s team of 500 people, but it puts Project Kuiper closer to launching its first satellites and finally competing with SpaceX’s Starlink.
Amazon first announced plans for Kuiper Systems in 2018 and obtained approval from the Federal Communications (FCC) in July 2020 to build the constellation of 3,236 satellites.
The 3,236 satellites would have the ability to serve about 95 percent of the world’s population and successfully position Amazon as a global ISP provider.
Facebook began its own internet satellite venture in 2015 and planned to launch its first constellation, dubbed Athena, in 2019. However, Wednesday’s news reveals the Facebook team has been working for Amazon since April
Now with the new additions from Facebook, Project Kuiper may soon get off the ground.
Facebook was set to launch Athena in March 2020, which it also hoped would compete with SpaceX.
The social media firm even filed its internet satellite venture with the FCC.
The filings were made under the name of a shell company, PointView Tech, that is owned by Facebook, according to Business Insider.
However, all the employees focused on helping Facebook reach for the stars moved to Amazon’s Los Angeles office.
The workers include physicists as well as optical, prototyping, mechanical and software engineers who had previously worked on aeronautical systems and wireless networks, according to their LinkedIn pages.
Although Amazon is heading down the right path, it will have to put in some extra work if it is to catch up with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has launched more than 1,730 Starlink satellites overall.
The Starlink constellation is also providing broadband services to more than 69,000 users in 12 countries worldwide