Amazon has been testing a new wireless network which would allow users to connect its devices to the Internet, according to reports.
As reported by Bloomberg, according to anonymous sources, the online retail giant has been testing the wireless network privately in Cupertino, California.
The new network uses spectrum controlled by satellite firm Globalstar and testing took place in Amazons Lab126 research facility -- the birthplace of Kindle devices. Globalstar is currently seeking FCC approval to convert approximately 80 percent of its satellite spectrum resources for Wi-Fi services after meeting with FCC representatives in June. A decision is expected this year, and if granted FCC permission, Globalstar's spectrum resources could be leased to multiple carriers or potentially contracted exclusively for Amazon.
Amazon is not the only company to explore the possibilities offered by launching branded Internet services. Google is pressing ahead with the installation of Google Fiber, touted as a connection speed "up to a hundred times faster" than today's broadband. In June, the tech giant announced that residents of Olathe, Kansas will be joining those in Kansas City eligible for Google Fiber, minutes after the local council.
If Amazon is seriously considering offering its own Internet service, then it could help the company better understand consumer patterns and behaviours when going online, by what means, and what users actually do on the Internet. In turn, this knowledge could potentially be turned to profit in the future.
Due to the expansion of connected devices and mobile technology, companies including Amazon, Apple, Samsung and Sony have been exploring wireless services. Tablets and smartphones have boosted consumer expectations of increased connectivity and cross-platform capabilities, which gives firms the opportunity to monetize the trend. Amazon's Kindle range and ebook readers already allow Wi-Fi-based purchases, and if you throw branded Internet gateways into the mix, this could help Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's aim of making the retailer a one-stop shop for consumers.