– Vodafone and Vodacom plan to use Project Kuiper’s constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to extend the reach of their 4G/5G networks.

– The companies plan to participate in beta testing of the Kuiper Project service in 2024.

LONDON, Sept. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Vodafone and Project Kuiper, Amazon’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications initiative, today announced a strategic collaboration through which Vodafone and Vodacom plan to use the Kuiper Project network to extend the reach of 4G/5G services to more customers in Europe and Africa.

Vodafone and Vodacom plan to use Project Kuiper’s high-bandwidth, low-latency satellite network to bring the benefits of 4G/5G connectivity to areas that would otherwise be difficult and cost-prohibitive to serve using traditional solutions. fiber or microwave. The Kuiper Project will connect geographically dispersed cellular antennas to the core telecommunications networks of companies. This means that Vodafone and Vodacom will be able to offer 4G/5G services in more places without the time and expense of building fibre-based or fixed wireless links to core networks.

As part of the collaboration, Amazon plans to partner with Vodafone to deploy Project Kuiper’s high-speed broadband services to underserved and underserved communities around the world. The companies are also exploring other specific offerings to provide businesses with comprehensive global connectivity solutions, such as emergency backup service and extending connectivity to remote infrastructures.

Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone Group CEO, commented: “Vodafone’s work with the Kuiper Project will provide mobile connectivity to much of the estimated 40% of the world’s population who lack Internet access, supporting remote communities, their schools and businesses, emergency services and disaster relief. These connections will be complemented by our own work on direct-to-smartphone satellite services.”

“Amazon is building Project Kuiper to provide fast, affordable broadband to tens of millions of customers in underserved and underserved communities, and our flexible network means we can connect places that have traditionally been hard to reach,” said Dave Limp, vice president. Amazon Devices and Services Senior. “Teaming up with a leading international service provider like Vodafone enables us to make a bigger and faster impact on bridging the digital divide in Europe and Africa. Together we will explore how we can help our customers get the most value from connectivity.” expanded, especially in areas such as residential broadband, agriculture, education, healthcare, transportation and financial services.

“At Vodacom, our purpose is to connect for a better future, and we work every day to bring more people in Africa online,” said Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group. “Collaborating with the Kuiper Project offers us an exciting new avenue to expand our efforts, using Amazon’s satellite constellation to quickly reach more customers across the African continent.”

Vodafone, Vodacom and Project Kuiper will start rolling out services in Africa and Europe when Amazon’s production satellites come online. Amazon is preparing to test two prototype satellites in the coming months before beginning to deploy production satellites in 2024. Amazon expects to begin beta testing of Project Kuiper services with selected customers in late 2024, with Vodafone and Vodacom planning to participate. in such tests through this collaboration.

If you would like to learn more about the Kuiper Project partnership, email kuiper-interest@amazon.com.

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