Amazon.com Inc is said to have tested a new wireless network that will allow its customers connect their devices to the internet. This is according to people who have knowledge on the matter. People who spoke on condition not to be named because the test was private said that the new wireless network, tested in Cupertino, California, used a spectrum that is controlled by Globalstar Inc. (GSAT), a satellite communication company.
The test by Amazon emphasizes how the largest e-commerce company in the world is going beyond being just a hardware maker and Web destination and moving into the fundamental technology. This would let the company create a more inclusive user experience, surrounding how the consumer access the internet, the devices they use to connect and what activities they do online. Amazon spokeswoman, Leslie Letts, as well as Globalstar spokeswoman, Katherine LeBlanc, declined to comment on the matter. However, Globalstar shares, which are traded over the counter, increased by 66% in New York.
Amazon will not be the first internet company to test a technology that allows it to be a gateway for the Web. Google Inc. also secured communication capabilities when it bid for a wireless spectrum and built high-speed, broadband networks that are fiber-based in 17 cities including Kansans City, Kansas and Austin, Texas. The company recently agreed to offer wireless connectivity to Starbucks coffee shops and it also operates a Wi-Fi network in Mountain View California.
However, the people who provided testing information said Amazon constantly tries a variety of technologies and it is not clear if the testing of the wireless network is still ongoing. The test was conducted in the surrounding areas of the company’s Lab126 facilities for research in Cupertino. The Lab126 is tasked with the designing and engineering of kindle devices. In an interview, Chetan Sharma, an independent analyst said the fact that Amazon was becoming a big player in the market; they could seek for ways to invest in connectivity.
Amazon has been going deeper into the wireless services for many years now, competing with companies like Apple Inc, a tablet maker, and Google Inc, which runs a store for vital applications. Amazon e-book readers and Kindle tablets features built –in wireless connectivity and they also sell mobile devices apps. Last year, Bloomberg also reported that Amazon had worked on a smartphone.
Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, aims to make the company a one-stop online shop for the consumers, a strategy that has prompted sales increase to $61.1 billion in the last year. This approach has been bought into by the investors as it is evident from the company’s stock price which has increase by more than twice in the last three years. Some of Amazon’s e-book readers comprise of Whispernet, a wireless delivery system that makes use of similar nationwide data network like mobile phones and can also access internet via Wi-Fi. Also, Amazon’s Kindle devices have at all times been capable of connecting to the internet.
Gloabstar is seeking for a regulatory approval for the conversion of close to 80% of its spectrum to be used for terrestrial purposes. The Miliptas, a California based company, applied to the FCC seeking consent to convert its satellite spectrum to offer services such as Wi-Fi in 2012.