Amazon and Vrio to Challenge Starlink with Satellite Internet Launch in South America by 2025

By Madz Dizon

Jun 13, 2024 08:41 AM EDT

Amazon and Vrio to Challenge Starlink with Satellite Internet Launch in South America by 2025
A Starlink dish and router are displayed on February 12, 2024 in San Anselmo, California.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Amazon and telecommunications firm Vrio have announced a collaboration to introduce a satellite internet service in seven South American countries. This move positions them as direct competitors to Elon Musk's Starlink.

Vrio Expands DirecTV and Sky Services Across 7 Latin American Countries

According to Reuters, Vrio, the US company that oversees DirecTV and Sky Brasil's Latin American operations, is expanding its service to customers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.

Project Kuiper, initiated by a former Starlink employee, aims to offer internet connectivity through satellites in low Earth orbit.

This will be done through DIRECTV Latin America and Sky Brasil in compliance with local regulations. This agreement will provide new opportunities for affordable, high-speed internet connectivity in an area with a total population of approximately 383 million people.

According to Lucas Werthein, vice president of Vrio, approximately 200 million people in the region have limited or no access to the internet, referring to estimates from the World Bank. 

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Project Kuiper's Mid-2025 Launch Targets Argentina for Broadband Service Rollout

In line with Project Kuiper's launch plan, the service will go live in mid-2025, beginning in Argentina. 

According to Bruno Henriques, the director of the company's Latin American business development, Project Kuiper will reveal its plan to launch a staggering 3,236 satellites into orbit in the upcoming months.

Amazon reported that Project Kuiper recently conducted tests on two prototype satellites as part of its successful Protoflight mission. 

The company plans to launch its satellite constellation soon and will conduct service demonstrations with Vrio and other chosen customers in the upcoming months.

In 2019, Amazon announced its intention to invest a whopping $10 billion in the project. "Our objective is to ensure that all customers, regardless of their location, have equal access to broadband," Henriques stated.

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