Reports have hit Bloomberg, via people in the know, that Amazon has been trying out some sort of broad area wireless system at its site in Cupertino, California. The intention of the experiment would seem to be to investigate if Amazon can connect more directly with customers owning its Kindle e-readers and tablets via its own content distribution network.
Amazon’s experiments were said to have used radio spectrum that’s currently controlled by Globalstar, a satellite communications company that’s busy trying to convert some of its space-born communications network into a terrestrial one. Globalstar is going through the regulatory process right now to make the change-over, with the advantages that its network may be able to offer more traffic at higher speeds than typical public Wi-Fi networks can at the moment.
Though Amazon’s network was short-ranged and an experiment far from any level of commercial availability, it is a hint at an intriguing future where Amazon controls content like e-books and digital movies, and also has control over its own distribution network and the end-user devices. Apple, which also tries to follow an end-to-end device chain, once considered a similar system and was even said to be looking into creating its own MVNO back before the iPhone arrived.