Reports suggest Amazon may have been testing a blazing fast network for their devices

August 23, 2013
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    Amazon, provider of all things for all people, has reportedly been working on a wireless network. Using spectrum from Globalstar, the eCommerce behemoth is reported to have been testing connectivity using the spectrum in their semi-secretive R&D facility, Lab126. Sources close to the matter did not wish to be identified, but said the testing was privately done in the Mountain View base for Amazon products.

    Globalstar is best known a satellite service provider, but recently filed for FCC approval to make their spectrum available for terrestrial use.

    The FCC granted a permit to test wireless equipment on a trial basis to Jarvinian Wireless Innovation fund in July. In a letter to the FCC, Jarvinian managing director John Dooley noted his company was assisting a “major technology company assess the significant performance benefits” of Globalstar’s spectrum.

    Globalstar is best known a satellite service provider, but recently filed for FCC approval to make their spectrum available for terrestrial use. According to Bloomberg, Globalstar met with the FCC in June to discuss the filing, originally made in November of 2012. Bloomberg also reports that a Globalstar technical advisor conducted tests that found the spectrum could accommodate more bandwidth and offer faster speeds that traditional WiFi service.

    There is no word on whether Amazon is considering the service as a competing WiFi service to Google’s high speed offering, or something a bit more proprietary. Considering the Amazon ecosystem, we’d have to assume any spectrum they leased from Globalstar would be used for their products alone, or bundled with a Prime membership.

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    • GhostRecon55

      Hmmm. Wifi… That would possibly make wifi available everywhere, paying a premium for a secure connection I’m sure. Could this be an enormous hit to data providers? If I’m reading this right, it could be the birth of a system that puts the end user in charge of how a device is designed and how often updated are released. This could force most carriers or of the market, making the larger ones fall under Amazon’s umbrella. Cuz we will need them to prevent Amazon violating monopoly laws.
      I would like this to happen.

    • Alex Ohannes

      I’m only for it if it’s backwards-compatible with current WiFi antennas. It would be mean (and somewhat typical) of Amazon to make a network that doesn’t support universal standards.

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