updated 11:00 pm EDT, Thu August 22, 2013
Network purpose not clear, may be for media distribution
According to sources familiar with the matter, Amazon has tested a new wireless network in Cupertino, California. The new network uses satellite communications company Globalstar's spectrum, and performed in the vicinity of the Amazon Lab126 test facility.
Globalstar has petitioned the FCC to convert 80 percent of its owned spectrum for land-based use. No decision has been made by the FCC, but Globalstar CEO James Monroe said that the company was now "well-positioned in the ongoing process with the FCC as we seek terrestrial authority for our spectrum," during the company's last quarterly earnings statements.
It is not immediately clear what Amazon may do with a network it completely controls, but an obvious possibility is media distribution. "Given that Amazon's becoming a big player in video, they could look into investing into forms of connectivity," independent wireless analyst Chetan Sharma told Bloomberg.