Amazon explores possible new fast, uncongested wireless service

Journalists try out the Amazon Kindle Fire HD in Santa Monica last year. The version that costs $399 comes with the ability to connect to AT&T's 4G LTE network for data services.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Creating some competition for AT&T, Kindle-maker Inc. tried out a proposed new wireless service earlier this year, Bloomberg reported.

With companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Google providing a growing array of data-hogging video services, there’s growing congestion on cellular and Wi-Fi spectrums.

Satellite service provider Globalstar has sought to provide some ground-based wireless data services by asking the Federal Communications Commission to open up a new channel for Wi-Fi. Globalstar has said channel 14 would have limited interference and congestion if it served as a managed service, and it’s that technology that Amazon is said to have tested out.


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Some of Amazon’s Kindle e-readers are currently capable of connecting to 4G LTE service from AT&T. If approved by the FCC, Globalstar’s terrestrial low-power service could serve as a premium high-speed alternative that Amazon could offer customers.

Google is taking a similar approach with Fiber, it’s high-speed home broadband Internet service in 17 cities. But the likes of Google and Facebook are also looking to find ways to cheaply deliver basic Internet to rural and unconnected areas because getting more people online is key to adding customers.

The online news website Computerworld reported in July that Globalstar wants to first focus on having schools and hospitals use the new Wi-Fi service. But some wireless industry groups have pushed back at the company’s proposal, saying that it could disturb existing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communications.


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