November 1, 2021
Verizon Business plans to partner with Amazon to utilize the online retailer’s low earth orbit (LEO) satellite network Project Kuiper, as backhaul to its 4G and 5G terrestrial services. The deal is intended to bring high-speed data network access to rural and remote communities in the U.S.
Initially that would mean providing connectivity to Verizon 4G and 5G transmitters where terrestrial cabling is unavailable, using antenna systems under development by Project Kuiper. However, the pair aim to deliver new hybrid connectivity services later.
Target sectors for the satellite-enhanced Verizon Business network include manufacturing, agriculture, energy and transportation.
“Smart farms, bringing technology to agriculture, and connecting the last mile of rural America will be at the fore front of helping our industry to provide food for billions around the globe,” said Betsy Huber, president of agriculture promotion body National Grange, “Ensuring connectivity in rural areas will be key to making these endeavors a success.”
Amazon’s Project Kuiper is funded to the tune of $10 billion to one day provide universal broadband from more than 3,000 Leo satellites, which would offer reduced latency by operating closer to Earth.
The partnership extends ties between Verizon and Amazon after the pair joined forces for 5G edge services through Amazon Web Services’ Wavelength platform earlier this year.
Both companies also take part in a voice control interoperability arrangement set up in 2019 that also includes 28 other vendors.
Bringing Kuiper into the mix was one of a number of connectivity service announcements from Verizon Business at the recent Mobile World Congress in Los Angeles.
5G access through the telco major’s Nationwide platform, which syncs up to its 4G LTE bandwidth, is now available for IoT devices it has certified.
Expected to follow in the first quarter of next year is new IoT connectivity hardware for Verizon’s 5G Nationwide and 5G Ultra Wideband service, the latter of which is billed as offering higher speeds.
A new predictive IoT analytics suite was also announced with the aim of using machine learning to predict network performance fluctuations in massive IoT networks.
Dubbed ThingSpace Intelligence, the software includes AI-driven machine learning, synchronized over-the-air firmware updates and split screen network and device analytics.
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