Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is partnering with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to use the tech giant’s coming satellite internet system to expand rural broadband access in the United States, the companies announced on Tuesday.
"We’re proud to be working together to explore bringing fast, reliable broadband to the customers and communities who need it most," Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement.
Amazon is working on Project Kuiper, a network of 3,236 satellites that it plans to use to provide high-speed internet to anywhere in the world.
While Amazon has yet to launch its first Kuiper satellites, the Federal Communications Commission last year authorized the system and the company has said that it plans to "invest more than $10 billion" in Kuiper.
The companies’ partnership will see Verizon use Amazon’s system as an extension of its terrestrial service, with Kuiper adding "cellular backhaul solutions to extend Verizon’s 4G/LTE and 5G data networks," the companies said.
Amazon and Verizon’s teams have begun working together "to define technical requirements to help extend fixed wireless coverage to rural and remote communities across the United States."
The companies see a wide variety of use cases for Kuiper’s extension of Verizon’s network, noting that it will look at "joint connectivity solutions" for industries including agriculture, energy, manufacturing, education, emergency response, transportation and more.
Late last year Amazon gave an early look at the performance of the “low-cost” satellite antenna it has been working on for Kuiper.
Verizon shares started Tuesday up 24 cents to $52.82, while those for Amazon rocketed $79.60, or 2.4%, to $3,400.00