According to sources who spoke to Bloomberg, Amazon is looking to expand beyond its mere Whispernet offerings and has engaged in testing of its own wireless network. The network will reportedly be used by its customers to connect devices to the hivemind, and was conducted on the wireless spectrum of satellite company Globalstar.
Neither Globalstar nor Amazon have elected to respond to the rumors, which isn’t surprising. The sources are said to be individuals “with knowledge of the matter,” and they said the testing took place in Cupertino, California. Whether the testing is still being conducted or if it was a wrap up is unknown by the sources, who say that Amazon is always trying out different tech.
The network, should it exist, will be used for things like Amazon’s Kindles, and as such it isn’t surprising that the testing is said to have taken place near Amazon’s Lab126 facilities, which is where Kindles are brought to life. Meanwhile, Globalstar has been making some interesting business moves that could provide further hints at Amazon’s plans.
The satellite company sought permission to swap 80-percent of its wireless spectrum for terrestrial use in a wireless Internet-esque manner back in late 2012, for example. The company’s higher ups then met with the Federal Communications Commission this past summer regarding the issue, and it is expected that a decision could be passed down within the upcoming months.
Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that the spectrum can be used to offer both faster speeds and better accommodation of more users than traditional WiFi networks. For now, the Amazon claims remain the stuff of rumors, but anecdotal evidence seems to lend them support, and it wouldn’t be a surprising move as Amazon aims to grow beyond its ill-defined borders to be more than an online retailer.