Amazon reportedly conducted wireless network tests in CaliforniaAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
Apparently Google isn't the only major tech company interested in gaining a wireless network. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Amazon has tested a wireless network in Cupertino, Calif. The publication's "people with knowledge of the matter" claim that Amazon used spectrum owned by satellite phone and data firm Globalstar Inc. to conduct its trial. The test is said to have taken place around Amazon's Lab126 facilities, which the company uses to design its Kindle hardware. However, it's not known if the tests are still going on.
Obviously there's still a lot of mystery surrounding Amazon's testing, and for all we know the company may have decided to scrap whatever wireless plans that it was trying. The news that the retailer has tested its own wireless network is a pretty big deal, though, especially considering that it sells tablets and has frequently been rumored to be prepping its own smartphone. Amazon also sells video and audio content and has its own Android application store, and if the company were to add its own wireless network to the mix, that would be another part of the customer experience that Amazon could control.
Globalstar Inc., the company who supplied the airwaves for Amazon's wireless testing, is seeking approval from the FCC in order to use its Mobile Satellite Services spectrum down on the earth for mobile broadband purposes. Dish Network went through a similar process last year. Globalstar met with FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn back in June to go over its petition, and the company expects the FCC to make a decision on the matter soon.