Vodafone and Project Kuiper Announce Collaboration to Extend 4G/5G Services in Europe and Africa

Vodafone and Project Kuiper, Amazon’s low Earth orbit satellite (LEO) communications initiative, have joined forces in a groundbreaking partnership that aims to revolutionize connectivity across Europe and Africa.
Vodafone store UKThe collaboration, announced today, will leverage Project Kuiper’s advanced satellite network to extend the reach of high-speed 4G/5G services to previously underserved and hard-to-reach areas.

Vodafone and Vodacom, both part of the Vodafone Group, plan to utilize Project Kuiper’s satellite network to bring the benefits of 4G/5G connectivity to regions where traditional fiber or microwave solutions are impractical or cost-prohibitive. Project Kuiper will link geographically dispersed cellular antennas to Vodafone and Vodacom’s core telecom networks, enabling the provision of 4G/5G services in more locations without the time and expense associated with building traditional network infrastructure.

As part of this strategic partnership, Amazon intends to collaborate with Vodafone to roll out Project Kuiper’s high-speed broadband services to unserved and underserved communities worldwide. Furthermore, the companies are exploring the development of additional enterprise-specific offerings, including backup services for unexpected events and extending connectivity to remote infrastructure, to provide comprehensive global connectivity solutions for businesses.

Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone Group Chief Executive, emphasized the broader societal impact of this collaboration, stating, “Vodafone’s work with Project Kuiper will provide mobile connectivity to many of the estimated 40 percent of the global population without internet access, supporting remote communities, their schools and businesses, the emergency services, and disaster relief. These connections will be complemented further through our own work on direct-to-smartphone satellite services.”

Dave Limp, Amazon’s Senior Vice President for Devices and Services, added, “Amazon is building Project Kuiper to provide fast, affordable broadband to tens of millions of customers in unserved and underserved communities, and our flexible network means we can connect places that have traditionally been difficult to reach. Teaming with a leading international service provider like Vodafone allows us to make a bigger impact faster in closing the digital divide in Europe and Africa.”

Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group, shared his perspective on this transformative collaboration: “At Vodacom, our purpose is to connect for a better future, and we work every day to bring more people in Africa online. Collaborating with Project Kuiper gives us an exciting new path to scale our efforts, using Amazon’s satellite constellation to quickly reach more customers across the African continent.”

The deployment of services in Africa and Europe will commence as Amazon’s production satellites become operational. Amazon is preparing to test two prototype satellites in the coming months, with production satellite deployment scheduled for 2024. Beta testing of Project Kuiper services with select customers is expected to begin by the end of 2024, with Vodafone and Vodacom actively participating in this testing phase as part of their collaboration.

This strategic partnership marks a significant step toward bridging the digital divide and bringing high-speed internet connectivity to remote and underserved areas, ultimately improving access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities for communities across Europe and Africa.