Amazon Web Services is keen to consider the customer response concerning the appropriate site for its antennas. For this reason, Amazon is slowing the launch of its commercial ground facility network.
So far, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has established six ground facilities worldwide instead of similar 12 scheduled stations intended to reach completion last year. Initially, the deal was to develop the 12 stations for those new space industry entrants to minimize the cost of these firms developing their facilities for satellite data acquisition and deployment of their constellations.
The senior manager of AWS facility development operations, Shayne Hawthorne, explained to SpaceNews via the July meeting that AWS altered its launch plans for 2019 after understanding its customers’ demands. Customers anticipated the ground facilities to be on different spots than what AWS had projected.
Shayne states that the initial plan for the location of the ground facilities had an alteration after reaching out for customer response. The customer care team realized that the customers hope for their facilities to be in the North.
This customer demand resulted in the development of one of the facilities in Sweden. The location facility will be meeting the needs of the polarly-located satellites, which are run by affiliates of AWS, who are the early adopters of the AWS services.
Customer needs have led to the development of other ground facilities in Australia and Bahrain. Shayne further adds that there are other AWS ground facilities in the US and Ireland.
Hawthorne reiterates that AWS is working on an additional 12 ground facilities for its establishment in its sites after obtaining customers’ feedback. He explains that various national regulatory agencies controlling the establishment of future ground stations make it hard to anticipate when the ground facilities will be complete for launching.
Hawthorne reports that they are working towards developing other ground facilities worldwide once they complete the assessment of customer needs and the resources to meet them. He further explained that they would be producing another facility in a high latitude point with its completion speculations touching around December this year.
In conclusion, Hawthorne reveals that creating another ground station will solely depend on customer demands or trends, which will result in its prioritization. Some of the upcoming AWS ground facilities users include satellite operators like Maxar Technologies, HawkEye 360, BlackSky, Capella Space, Spire, Open Cosmos, and Myriota.