Facebook exits its satellite internet business. Why not when you have Elon Musk’s Starlink? Amazon is picking the pieces. The e-commerce giant has acquired more than a dozen of Facebook’s Internet engineers, in a play to accelerate its satellite Internet project called Project Kuiper. While Amazon lags far behind SpaceX’s Starlink service, which already has 10,000 subscribers in its beta test, it does have U.S. approval to one day launch more than 3,000 satellites of its own, notes Fortune.
Facebook has sold its small-satellite Internet division to Amazon and said it has no plans to become an Internet service provider. Amazon and Facebook both confirmed the sale to Ars today.
The Information first reported that “Amazon has acquired a team of more than a dozen wireless Internet experts from Facebook in an effort to boost its multibillion-dollar effort to launch thousands of satellites… The workers are in the Los Angeles area and included physicists as well as optical, prototyping, mechanical, and software engineers who had previously worked on aeronautical systems and wireless networks, according to their LinkedIn pages.” One of those is Jin Bains, who is now a director at Amazon’s Project Kuiper. The employees reportedly moved to Amazon in April.
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