Amazon eyes bringing satellite internet business Project Kuiper to India

Amazon appears to have identified another market to launch its fast and affordable internet service, Project Kuiper: India.

Job listings show the American e-commerce group is looking to hire managers in India to launch the internet service, for which the company plans to use low Earth orbit satellite constellation.

“A successful candidate will be both entrepreneurial and highly analytical, able to work extremely effectively in a matrix organization and adept at understanding how businesses work in India and how to create innovative, cutting edge solutions for our customers,” Amazon describes in the job listing.

Amazon unveiled Project Kuiper in 2019 with an aim to deploy a massive broadband satellite internet constellation — taking on SpaceX’s Starlink, at least on paper. The Seattle-headquartered company has promised to invest over $10 billion in the project and said it intends to provide affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world.

This explains why so many tech giants have attempted to launch their internet services in India over the years.

OneWeb, a Bharti Airtel-backed London-based company, is one of the key players to kick off their satellite-based broadband services in India. It has partnered with the Indian Space Research Organisation unit New Space to launch its satellites.

Tata Group-owned Nelco is also in the race to offer high-speed internet via satellites in India. Similarly, Reliance Jio announced its native satellite-based broadband service called Jio Space Technology in February, for which it has partnered with Luxembourgish satellite and terrestrial telecom provider SES.

“I’m very sure that by next year, we are going to get broadband satellite communication,” said Lt. Gen. AK Bhatt, Director General, Indian Space Association (IsPA), in an interview with TechCrunch.

Launched last year, IsPA has members including Larsen & Toubro, Nelco, One-Web, Bharti Airtel and Walchandnagar Industries. It engages with both government and its agencies and private players to operate as a “collective voice” of the Indian space industry.

Bhatt noted that the government would likely announce its New Space Policy 2022, which will fully clarify the regulatory regime.

“The initial broadband services by LEO constellations may be marginally costly, but market forces and volumes will overcome this. In the long run, satcom broadband will be ‘Fiber in the Sky,’ which will provide seamless communication to the user,” he said.

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