Amazon seems to have identified another market to launch its fast and affordable Internet service, Project Kuiper: India.
The job postings show that the US e-commerce group is seeking to hire managers in India to launch the internet service, for which the company plans to use a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit.
A position, Bangalore-based, is looking to hire a manager to execute and manage the licensing strategy for the project in India and Asia-Pacific countries. The company is also hiring a business strategy manager from their country development team to âlaunch and operateâ the broadband service worldwide.
“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 operate in India and how to create innovative, cutting-edge solutions for our customers,” Amazon describes. in the job list. .
The company, which is said to have been working on launching its internet service in India for more than a yeardid not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Amazon unveiled Project Kuiper in 2019 with the aim of deploying a massive broadband satellite internet constellation â taking Starlink from SpaceX, at least on paper. The Seattle-based company pledged to invest more than $10 billion in the project and said it intended to bring affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world.
Last year, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized the company to launch and operate its constellation of more than 3,200 internet satellites. The company plans to launch its first satellites later this year and indicated that the United States could be the first market where it will deploy Kuiper’s Internet.
In addition to offering direct-to-consumer broadband connectivity, Project Kuiper said it also plans to provide carrier backhaul service. In April, Amazon announcement its partnership with commercial space companies Arianespace, Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance (ULA) to secure up to 83 launches for its low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite system.
Even though India is already the second largest internet market in the world, around half of its population is still offline. Data compiled by the World Bank shows that only 43% of India’s total population used the internet in 2020, a figure that is significantly less than that of the United States, where the Internet penetration rate is 91%.
This explains why so many tech giants have tried to launch their internet services in India over the years.
Last year, SpaceX’s Starlink announced plans to launch up to 200,000 terminals in India by the end of 2022. The company enthusiastically started taking pre-orders in India, until randomly dropping the project after failing to get local government approval.
OneWeb, a London-based company backed by Bharti Airtel, is one of the major players to launch its satellite broadband services in India. It has partnered with the Indian Space Research Organization’s New Space Unit to launch its satellites.
Nelco, owned by the Tata group, is also in the race to offer high-speed internet via satellites in India. Similarly, Reliance Jio announced its native satellite broadband service called Jio Space Technology in February, for which it has partnered with Luxembourg-based satellite and terrestrial telecommunications provider SES.
“I am sure that by next year we will have broadband satellite communication,” Lt. Gen. AK Bhatt, chief executive of the Indian Space Association (IsPA), said in an interview with TechCrunch. .
Launched last year, IsPA’s membership includes Larsen & Toubro, Nelco, One-Web, Bharti Airtel and Walchandnagar Industries. It engages both with the government and its agencies and with private actors to function as a âcollective voiceâ 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.
âInitial broadband services from LEO constellations may be marginally costly, but market strengths and volumes will overcome this issue. In the long term, satcom broadband will be ‘Fiber in the Sky’, which will provide seamless communication to the user,â he said.