Amazon considers adding Prime wireless service: Report
Amazon in Talks with Wireless Carriers to Launch Mobile Service for Prime Members
Amazon is reportedly in discussions with several wireless carriers including Verizon, T-Mobile, and Dish about the possibility of launching a mobile service for their Prime members. The move is seen as a way to attract more subscribers to their loyalty program as membership growth slows and competition with Walmart+ heats up.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the discussions have been going on for six to eight weeks and could result in Amazon reselling wireless service at a low cost or potentially for free to Prime members. Spokespeople for Verizon, T-Mobile, Dish, and AT&T have not commented on the reports.
This is not Amazon’s first foray into the mobile category, having launched their ill-fated Fire Phone in 2014 before discontinuing it a year later. More recently, they have focused on high-speed internet through their Kuiper program, which aims to build a network of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit.
“We are always exploring adding even more benefits for Prime members, but don’t have plans to add wireless at this time,” said Amazon spokesperson Bradley Mattinger.
What is Amazon’s Prime subscription service?
Amazon Prime is a subscription service offered by Amazon that allows members to access free two-day shipping on eligible items, unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows, and music, and other benefits such as discounts and special offers.
What is Amazon’s Kuiper program?
Amazon’s Kuiper program is a high-speed internet initiative that aims to build a network of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit to provide internet access globally.
What is a mobile virtual network operator?
A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a company that offers mobile phone services but does not own its own wireless network infrastructure. MVNOs purchase data and airtime from large carriers and resell it to consumers under their own brand.
Who are Amazon’s competitors in the loyalty program space?
Amazon’s main competitor in the loyalty program space is Walmart+, a subscription service offered by Walmart that provides perks such as free delivery, fuel discounts, and access to their Scan & Go technology.
Report: Amazon Explores the Possibility of including Prime Wireless Service
Amazon is reportedly in talks with multiple wireless carriers to launch a mobile service exclusively for Prime members. According to a report from Bloomberg, negotiations have been ongoing for six to eight weeks with Verizon, T-Mobile, and Dish, though AT&T has also been involved in discussions. Amazon’s plan could include reselling the carriers’ mobile service to its Prime members either at a low cost or even for free. Telecom stocks such as Verizon and T-Mobile saw significant losses on Friday following the news, while Dish’s shares surged over 18%.
An Amazon spokesperson, Bradley Mattinger, stated that they are always exploring adding benefits for Prime members but do not have plans to add wireless at this time. Amazon had previously delved into the mobile category with the launch of its unsuccessful Fire Phone in 2014, followed by a shift in focus towards high-speed internet through the Kuiper program.
With rising competition from Walmart’s Walmart+ loyalty program and slowing membership growth, Amazon is actively seeking ways to attract more Prime subscribers. The company currently has over 200 million subscribers worldwide, as of April 2021. By partnering with a large carrier like Verizon or Dish, Amazon would serve as a mobile virtual network operator, buying data from carriers to resell to consumers.
As of now, representatives from Verizon, T-Mobile, Dish, and AT&T have not yet commented on the report.