Soon after Elon Musk-run SpaceX abandoned its affordable internet project Starlink in India, Amazon has ramped up its efforts to launch its fast and cheaper internet service called ‘Project Kuiper’ in the country.
The company has posted several job openings for Project Kuiper. One job posting in Bengaluru seeks to hire a manager to “execute and handle the project’s licensing strategy in India and Asia-Pacific”.
The other job opening is for Business Strategy Lead, Country Development, Project Kuiper in Haryana (Gurugram).
TechCrunch first reported the latest development.
“We are looking for a talented Business Development Strategy Lead who is ready to take charge of operational planning and support our strategy for our business plans in India,” the job posting read.
Project Kuiper is an initiative to launch a constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to provide low-latency, high-speed broadband connectivity to unserved and underserved communities around the world.
The company said that the “Kuiper Country Development team is focused on launching and operating the Kuiper service across the globe”.
“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 said.
Musk’s Starlink is currently available in more than 32 countries.
Starlink registered its business in India via a local unit, Starlink Satellite Communications, and targeted a rollout in April this year.
However, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under the Ministry of Communications, in December last year warned Starlink to get the necessary permission required to offer satellite-based Internet services in the country.
The government told Starlink to stop “booking/rendering the satellite internet service” in India without a licence.
Starlink later announced that it will apply for a commercial license in India by January 31, which never happened.
Sanjay Bhargava, India Director for Starlink, stepped down in January amid the government pressure to get necessary permission for offering satellite-based Internet services.
Responding to a follower in May on Starlink, Musk tweeted: “We are waiting for government approval”.
Meanwhile, Amazon in April announced the biggest rocket deal in the commercial space industry’s history, signing a pact with three rocket companies for up to 83 launches under its Project Kuiper internet satellites.
The tech giant signed contracts for launches with United Launch Alliance (ULA), Arianespace, and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.
The contracts total up to 83 launches over a five-year period, providing capacity for Amazon to deploy the majority of its 3,236-satellite constellation.
Like Musk’s Starlink, Amazon’s Project Kuiper aims to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband to a wide range of customers, including individual households, schools, hospitals, businesses, government agencies, disaster relief operations, mobile operators, and other organisations working in places without reliable internet connectivity.
There are now more than 1,000 people at Amazon working on Project Kuiper. Amazon said it will invest over $10 billion in its satellite internet network.
Starlink has already launched more than 2,000 satellites since 2019, and many more will go up in the near future.