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 and offer broadband service in the US and abroad.
The employees moved from Facebook to Amazon in order to work on the company’s plans to develop a network of low-orbit satellites.
The move brings an end to Facebook’s efforts to deliver internet connectivity to remote areas via its own 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. Amazon paid Facebook to seal the agreement, although terms of the talent acquisition couldn’t be learned.
Amazon is in the midst of developing a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation called Project Kuiper. The company has been tight-lipped about the project, which has FCC approval for 3,236 satellites in LEO. It will launch half of these satellites by July 2026 and the rest by 2029.
In a statement, Facebook spokesperson said: “We believe satellite technology will enable the next generation of broadband infrastructure, and as part of our connectivity efforts, we’ve built an incredible team around designing and testing new ways to advance satellite connectivity using optical communications and radio frequency systems and solutions. Facebook remains committed to enabling better, broader global connectivity through the development of new programs, technologies and business models, and we’re excited to watch as this team takes their work to the next stage and makes a lasting impact in the field.”