Amazon is building satellite transmission facilities around the world. Getty Images/Philippe Huguen

Amazon Web Services has revealed its next big venture: building satellite transmission facilities. The company said that it is then leasing access to the infrastructure to clients who need to send and or receive data from the different satellites orbiting the earth.

AWS announced its plan to build 12 satellite transmission facilities in different parts of the world during its re:invent conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday. According to the firm, the facilities it is building are basically antenna-equipped structures that can communicate with thousands of satellites in space.

Amazon pointed out that the target clients of its new business are companies that do not have sufficient financial resources to build and operate their own satellite transmission facilities. They could get access to various satellite services on-demand when they rent any of the satellite ground stations, as per Business Insider.

“You figure out which ground station you want to interact with. You schedule effectively where you want that satellite interacting with that ground station,” AWS CEO Andy Jassy said of the satellite access rental service.

AWS has already launched two ground stations; the other ten facilities will commence their operations in mid-2019. The company did not disclose the total cost of building the 12 ground stations, but it’s obvious that the big project is very expensive to carry out.

As for pricing, Amazon said that clients would be asked to pay per-minute of downlink time. It is also offering customers the option to pre-pay for blocks of minutes. However, exact rates have yet to be revealed.

Space technology company Maxar Technologies CEO Dr. Walter Scott said that they are planning to use Amazon’s transmission facilities in analyzing satellite imagery that can help address serious issues such as ground fires.

“Building that global ground network requires resources. It requires land and hardware, and AWS Ground Station lets us expand that network. It lets us do that in an elastic fashion,” Scott said.

Other businesses that will find Amazon’s infrastructure very useful are those that focus on weather forecasting, communications and surface imaging, among others.