Amazon and Vrio challenge Starlink with South American satellite internet

The project targeting the estimated 200 million people who currently lack adequate internet access.

South America on the globe map.

Amazon and telecommunications firm Vrio are set to launch a satellite internet service in seven South American countries, directly competing with Elon Musk’s Starlink. Vrio, which oversees DirecTV Latin America and Sky Brasil, will offer the service in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. The initiative, utilising Amazon’s Project Kuiper, aims to provide internet access via satellites in low Earth orbit.

According to World Bank data, the partnership addresses a significant demand, as an estimated 200 million people in the region have inadequate or no internet access. The challenging geography and the high cost of large infrastructure investments further highlight the need for satellite internet. The service is scheduled to go live in mid-2025, beginning in Argentina.

Project Kuiper plans to deploy 3,236 satellites to support this endeavour, part of Amazon’s $10 billion investment announced in 2019. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all customers, regardless of their location in urban, suburban, or rural areas, have equal access to high-speed broadband.