Amazon is continuing to double down on its India investments, as it sees the world’s second largest internet market as its next growth frontier. This time though, in addition to its more conventional projects like Amazon Smart Commerce, it looks like the e commerce giant is looking to bring its satellite broadband game to India. Amazon is planning to bring its highly ambitious, ‘Project Kuiper’ broadband, to the Indian shores.
The reports are only supported by a handful of India-based manager job listings posted by Amazon for the project. One such listing, for a business strategy lead, has been explained as follows
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 has been working on Project Kuiper since 2019, with the aim quite in line with Elon Musk’s Starlink, to bring high speed satellite broadband to communities and regions which are too remote and underdeveloped to make demographic lists for fibre broadband providers of the world.
The US FCC gave the green flag to Amazon to set up an internet-from-space satellite fleet which could be 3200 satellite-strong. In April, the company also managed to obtain launch rights for upto 83 launches. The deal was made with Launch providers Arianespace, United Launch Alliance and Jeff Bezos’ own company, Blue Origin.
The deal’s financial terms, while kept discrete, were conservatively estimated to be around $10 Bn. The deal included Amazon’s booking of 38 launches with ULA, 18 with Arianespace and 12 with Blue Origin (Along with an option to book 15 more).
The market for internet services in India is ever-growing. India’s demographic dividend show’s a very high proportion of young people, capable of forming a formidable online-focused workforce and also contributing to increase of population over time. Despite the massive data price drop over the last few years, only 43% of India’s population has access to the internet.
This explains why Amazon is not nearly the first to explore the idea of bringing satellite internet to India. It’s chief global competitor Starlink also planned to set up shop in India, a plan which was hindered due to the Indian Government not approving it. Indian players like Bharti-Airtel owned OneWeb and Tata Group owned Nelco are also making major strides in the sector.