Amazon Exec Dave Limp Expects Project Kuiper Satellites to Boost Sales and Cloud

Here’s how Limp explained the business case at the GeekWire Summit:

“There are lots of places on Earth that are incredibly well-served by wireless. But when you map it out, and we have done this pretty carefully, there are lots of blank spots. And by the way, immediately your mind goes, ‘Oh, well, there’s a big blank spot in sub-Saharan Africa.’ You don’t have to go that far.

“You just have to go to Eastern Washington, and you can find lots of areas where connectivity is very difficult to get. And if you do have connectivity, it’s not the connectivity that we’re now beginning to take for granted. It’s running off legacy copper, in many instances, or off satellite systems that, because of the constraints on how to get things to space, have very long latency and lower bandwidth.

“If you think about Amazon and what we want to do in the future, we want everybody connected. A, it’s good for society, and B, it also will be good for Amazon. Obviously, more people can shop, which we like, and more people can get access to things like Alexa, and more developers can get access to things like AWS.

“So, connectivity is kind of a primitive, first and foremost, but it’s getting close to a human right. If you were writing a new Bill of Rights today, you might put connectivity in it. It’s close to that. [There are] lots of things small companies can do. They’re nimble, they’re in a garage, they can invent super-fast. [But] there are some things that, for bigger companies — it’s on our shoulders to solve. This is an example of one of those.

“To solve that connectivity … on a global basis, we’re going to have to put 3,236 satellites up. That’s going to take billions and billions of dollars of capital. And by the way, it’s high risk. We’ve got a lot of invention ahead of us. But I like that we’re willing to take on the responsibility for trying to do that. I think we can also turn it into a good business. That’s not lost on us. But when you can get the overlap of the Venn diagrams of “good businesses” with “greater good,” those are the things you want to work on.

“Kindle was that way for me. That’s why I came to Amazon. If we can help with literacy and reading in the world, and also turn it into a pretty good business, that’s a good job to have.”

Full GeekWire article HERE.

Note: Amazon looks at Project Kuiper as just another segment of their sales infrastructure.  This is a strategic advantage.

Will Amazon’s Flywheel Consume the Rural Broadband Advantage?

What is the Amazon Flywheel? It is best described in a Bloomberg article examining Amazon’s Market Reach.

As Amazon grew, the company adopted a business school concept called the flywheel, loosely defined as a sort of self-reinforcing loop. Where possible, projects were to be structured to bolster other initiatives underway at the company.

Here is an example of the flywheel in action:

By the time Amazon began breaking out the revenue of Amazon Web Services in 2015, the cloud-computing unit had reshaped how businesses used technology. It was also Amazon’s biggest money maker, churning out billions of dollars a year in profit that the company could put to work investing in new services and expansion of its core retail business. Once again, the flywheel in action.

With the announcement that Amazon will be launching 3,236 low earth orbiting satellites to provide broadband internet services from space the potential competitors SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat and LeoSat took notice. The most vocal was Elon Musk who claimed Amazon was copying SpaceX.

Perhaps those that Amazon’s broadband network will impact the most, the mom and pop stores across the nation, may not have given the announcement a passing thought.

While the Amazon LEO satellites will be providing high-speed internet access to 14 million rural US citizens who do not have access now, they will also be providing these rural consumers access to Amazon’s e-commerce kingdom. While Amazon can offer cloud services to small business in rural communities at the same time, they could be stealing those small business customers with their lower cost e-commerce options.

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According to the Foundation for Rural Service study current rural broadband users account for $1.4 Trillion in an online transaction, 14% of all internet driven transition, or 7% of GDP. However, they’re 19 million users that do not have Internet access or have access too slow for effective e-commerce. Amazons LEO network will provide easy access to these unserved broadband customers and at the same time adding them to the Amazon e-commerce customer base. The flywheel in action.

While SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat, and LeoSat are planning to provide broadband services, Amazon will be providing broadband service, but the primary goal is the creation of marketing and sales infrastructure, which is a far different business model than the service based competition.  The depth of Amazon’s offerings gives them an advantage.

The problem remains, will Amazon’s space-based broadband access be an advantage or detriments to rural communities? Given Amazon’s market penetration so far, it appears that a ubiquitous internet will transform communities, there will be more information based businesses and fewer street side shops selling commodities that Amazon can deliver for less.

Your thoughts?

GeekWire has Some Amazon Broadband Insight

If Project Kuiper comes to fruition, would Amazon, SpaceX, OneWeb, Telesat and other broadband players be chasing after the same customers in remote or underdeveloped regions of the world? Or would there be market segmentation?

You could argue that the biggest users of Amazon’s satellites will be … Amazon and its customers.

For example, Prime Video could offer streaming services worldwide via satellite (which could provide an edge over Netflix). The ability to provide cloud computing services to virtually anywhere in the world would be an attractive differentiator for Amazon Web Services (which already has a cloud-based platform for satellite management known as AWS Ground Station). And a global data network would make it a lot easier for Amazon to manage drones, robotic ground vehicles and all the other next-generation delivery channels it’s developing.

When you add the potential for taking orders and serving ads via a ubiquitous internet service, Project Kuiper looks less like a far-out fantasy and more like the final frontier for commerce. Amazon isn’t posting any job openings for satellite service marketers yet, but it’s probably only a matter of time.

Full Article is HERE. This is another opportunity for Amazon to change the business model once again. Another delivery systems totally under their control.  This is more than just a broadband delivery system.  Another Amazon Game Changer!  Stay Tuned!

 

FCC’s New National Broadband Map

On February 22, the Federal Communications Commission updated the National Broadband Map, replacing the original map that was released seven years ago by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The current map also has the ability to overlay satellite imagery. The map is currently using data collected in December 2016 based on Form 477 filings that broadband providers must make with the FCC. The map is based on census block level data. One of the features of the map allows the user to select a service provider and be able to see where the availability for that providers is located and offered. The map is cloud-based and will support more frequent data updates and display improvements at a far lower cost, according to the FCC news release for the map.

Improvements and features on the map will include:

  • Fixed deployment data based on the latest collection by the FCC and updated twice annually
  • Deployment summaries for seven different geographical types, which include nation, state, county, congressional district, city or town, Tribal area, and Core-based Statistical areas (like City NY-NJ-PA)
  • Broadband availability and provider counts in each of the nation’s over 11 million census blocks for six technologies that include fiber, DSL, cable, satellite, fixed wireless, as well as seven speeds for a total of 441 combinations
  • Deployment comparisons between geographic areas
  • A portal for data downloads
  • Satellite imagery map overlay that shows buildings, roads, and geography
    Graphs that show what fraction of an area’s population has access to broadband at a given speed

H/T to Utah Broadband Outreach Center for write up.

 

Fire Proof Your Data in the Cloud

The recent Californias fire provides a good reason why you should consider cloud storage and computing services. They are all offsite from your home or business. Should your business or home burn, your data can be recovered from the cloud. Family photos, tax records, and business data will be accessible online from just about anywhere.

What are Cloud Services

Amazon has one answer in this video:

https://aws.amazon.com/what-is-cloud-computing/

Microsoft has another answer here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloudandhosting

PC Magazine Reviews of Cloud Services here:

https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/306323/the-best-cloud-storage-providers-and-file-syncing-services.

We use DropBox, iCloud, and Google Drive for our offsite storage at the Insightworks.