Facebook sells satellite internet team to Amazon

Amazon has acquired Facebook’s satellite internet group. It concerns more than twelve experts who are involved in the development of wireless internet via satellites. The employees transferred to Amazon in April. An amount for the acquisition has not been disclosed.

Both companies confirm to The Information that Amazon has acquired the team. These are physicists, hardware and software developers and experts in optics, mechanics and prototypes. According to Business Insider, it also acquired intellectual property developed by the team, as well as premises and furnishings.

Facebook continues to work with partner companies such as Eutelsat and still wants to increase internet access. At the same time, the company no longer wants to set up its own internet satellite network. The sale to Amazon will allow the team to continue working on internet satellites, Facebook says.

Amazon has been planning to offer internet via satellites for some time now. In 2019, it was announced that Amazon is working on Project Kuiper, which has to work via 3236 satellites in low Earth orbit. For example, ‘tens of millions of people’ should be able to get broadband internet worldwide. Amazon received FCC approval for this a year ago.

Three years ago, Facebook appeared to want to launch its own internet satellite, which was given the name Athena. These plans seemed less advanced than Amazon’s plans, for example. Competitor SpaceX already offers internet via satellites with Starlink.