Executives meet up at Amazon’s HQ in Seattle. From left: Rajeev Badyal, vice president of Project Kuiper; Vrio President Dario Werthein; and Panos Panay, senior VP of Amazon Devices & Services. (Business Wire Photo)

Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite broadband network has been tapped to provide internet connectivity to customers in seven South American countries, under the terms of a newly announced deal with Vrio Corp., the parent company of DirecTV Latin America and Sky Brasil.

Vrio plans to use the Kuiper network to serve residential customers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay. The area takes in about 383 million people, including tens of millions of people who still aren’t connected to the internet, according to World Bank estimates.

In a news release, Vrio President Dario Werthein said the collaboration with Project Kuiper addresses his company’s concerns about “bridging the technology gap and even more so the digital divide for our future generations.”

The agreement with Vrio follows similar connectivity deals that Project Kuiper has made with Verizon in the U.S., Vodafone and Vodacom in Europe and Africa, and NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT in Japan.

Amazon is wrapping up a monthslong series of tests of two prototype Kuiper satellites — and ramping up the production of operational satellites at its facilities in Redmond and Kirkland, Wash.

The first of those production-grade satellites is due to be launched sometime in the next few months. Amazon plans to start service demonstrations with Vrio and other select customers by the end of the year, and launch commercial service in 2025.

Project Kuiper is far behind SpaceX’s Starlink network, which is providing broadband service to more than 3 million subscribers in 99 countries with a constellation of roughly 6,000 satellites.

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