Amazon acquires Facebook’s satellite internet team: report

  • Amazon acquired Facebook’s satellite internet team, Information reported Tuesday.
  • The group of more than a dozen Los Angeles-based scientists and engineers joined Amazon in April.
  • The acquisition ends Facebook’s plan to develop satellite Internet, while strengthening Amazon’s.

Amazon has acquired Facebook’s team of more than a dozen satellite internet experts, Information reported Tuesday and spokespersons for both companies confirmed.

The deal bolsters Amazon’s $ 10 billion effort to develop low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites capable of delivering high-speed, high-speed internet around the world, while marking the end of ultimately unsuccessful efforts of Facebook to do the same.

The Facebook team, which joined Amazon’s existing 500-person operation in April, included physicists as well as hardware and software engineers with experience working on aircraft and wireless systems, according to The Information. .

The talent acquisition deal included some of the intellectual property developed by the team, as well as equipment and facilities, Facebook told Insider. Other terms were not disclosed.

Amazon has rushed to compete with other satellite internet companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and its Starlink network, in addition to Europe-based OneWeb and Eutelsat.

Amazon received Federal Communications Commission approval in July 2020 to launch 3,236 LEO satellites in an effort called Project Kuiper, with the company saying it plans to bring its satellite Internet service online after 578 satellites are in orbit.

Facebook’s own research efforts around satellite internet technology, which began in 2015, have encountered multiple obstacles. Given Facebook’s lack of plans to launch its own satellite network, the Amazon acquisition will allow its satellite team to continue their work, Facebook told The Information. A spokesperson told Insider that Facebook will continue to work with partner companies like Eutelsat and sue its others. efforts to expand internet access.

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