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Sources Say Amazon Testing Its Own Wireless Networking Service

timothy posted about a year ago | from the sweet-data-from-above dept.

Networking 23

Google has captured lots of attention with its municipal fiber efforts in Kansas City and Austin; Amazon, say some anonymous sources, is experimenting with a networking project of its own (distinct from its Whispernet 3G content delivery service) to connect users' devices to the internet. Rather than fiber, though, Amazon's tests involve spectrum controlled by satellite communications company Globalstar Inc., according to sources "who asked not to be identified because the test was private. ... Amazon continually tries various technologies, and it’s unclear if the wireless network testing is still taking place, said the people. The trial was in the vicinity of Amazon’s Lab126 research facilities in Cupertino, the people said. Lab126 designs and engineers Kindle devices."

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23 comments

GO BRAZIL !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44668775)

And Go Tuttle !!

True confession (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44668819)

I know this will probably get lost in the comments but, when my mom isn't home I like to go into her garden, cover myself in dirt, and pretend I'm a carrot.

Re:True confession (-1, Offtopic)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#44668865)

I know this will probably get lost in the comments

We can only hope...

but, when my mom isn't home I like to go into her garden, cover myself in dirt, and pretend I'm a carrot.

I'm not so sure you have to "pretend".

Re:True confession (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44669057)

I'm not so sure you have to "pretend".

What?!?!

What the fuck does it which matter?

I swear to god you stupid motherfucker, if you your bullshit drivel even one more motherfucking time I am going to climb through this tube and smack the shit out of you. I'll kick your dog while I'm there, and piss on your flowers.

No one wants to read what you write. It is lame. You are lame by extension. Your whole family is very likely equally lame. Lick my sack.

In short, fuck you and the packets you rode in one.

You are a waste of carbon and water.

Yuo == fuckface

Re:True confession (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44669495)

4 chan down again?

Re:True confession (1)

MalachiK (1944624) | about a year ago | (#44672715)

Didn't you hear? All this internet is like this these days.

Re:True confession (0)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#44669137)

Better than being a couch potato.

One word (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44668821)

Latency. 44,000 miles is very unforgiving.

Re:One word (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#44668889)

Latency. 44,000 miles is very unforgiving.

From TFA: "Globalstar is seeking regulatory approval to convert about 80 percent of its spectrum to terrestrial use."

So what's it like being a brain surgeon?

Re:One word (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44668943)

Unless Globalstar has something really clever on the table, they should think carefully about the sordid saga of LightSquared [wikipedia.org] ... They thought that they'd buy a bunch of satellite-to-ground spectrum for peanuts and then get a waiver to use it as (much, much, more valuable) ground-ground spectrum. Shockingly, satellite-to-ground users in nearby spectra, with their feeble transmitters a zillion miles away, were Not Very Happy at the prospect of having comparatively massive towers screaming on nearby channels all over the economically relevant parts of the continental US.

At this point, LightSquared runs a fairly uninteresting satellite internet business and an unbelievably obnoxious lobbying business, stomping their feet and pouting because they aren't being allowed to pull their spectrum conversion trick.

Re:One word (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year ago | (#44669079)

From reading the wikipedia article I get the impression that lightsquared got very close to getting away with it. I get the impression that the reason they didn't get away with it was because the service they were stepping on was GPS which is used by damn near everyone. So it gave them a LOT of opponents both military and civillian.

Re:One word (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44669555)

Yes indeed. Now they're trying to stomp [arstechnica.com] on NOAA [noaa.gov] , a comparatively small and weak governmental entity (they can't even find enough money to replace lost weather buoys).

Nothing like the economic power of a determined billionaire and the bottomless pit of graft and avarice that is the Congress to keep bad ideas afloat.

Re:One word (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | about a year ago | (#44669163)

I haven't looked at what band Globalstar has but I suspect they'll have a far easier time converting then what Lightsquared did for the simple fact that they're not interfearing with GPS signals as Lightsquared was doing.

Another thing is that they're not trying to convert all of their bandwidth to terrestrial, just 80 percent of it. Keep in mind that they already have a profitable business - think they own Dish/Direct-TV and offer a Satelite based Internet or rent the bandwidth to others for the same purpose.

The advantage is the reduced latencies and not having to replace satelites as they age or a CME (coronal mass ejection) /solar flare fries them.

Re:Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44669293)

Tachyon Tranceiver

we dont want (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44668837)

That would let Amazon create a more comprehensive user experience, encompassing how consumers get online, what device they use to connect to the Web and what they do on the Internet.

any of that shit.

go back to sellin crap and leave our internets alone.

Amazon's private cellular network? (4, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#44668855)

It makes some sense... If Amazon has enough Kindles out there scarfing down content, they might be able to save a lot of money by having their own wireless data service comparable to the nation-wide cellular service. Making the hardware, they can stick in whatever kind of proprietary radios they want, and then they'll have a large installed base of potential customers that only need to click the button to signs-up for service. And they've got lots of content in their walled-garden to fill those invisible series of tubes as well.

They've obviously got a partner with enough spectrum. And telcos like Sprint are actively soliciting rental space on their cell towers, so Amazon doesn't even need to do the hard part. They could have service up and running in a few big cities in just weeks.

Re:Amazon's private cellular network? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44668987)

The one aspect that I find hard to understand is where Amazon thinks that their edge would be in going it alone. You can be an MVNO of any of the major cell companies with just a dash of legal paperwork, and that gets you instant network access, allows you to use commodity cell radio technology from a variety of vendors (and all the messy patent stuff is their problem), and it isn't as though the cell guys are sandbagging in terms of R&D, they're just evil about pricing.

Either they think that they have something very clever up their sleeve, or they are looking for a data service that fits a somewhat different use case than cellular data services do(in which case they might actually be able to do better, since they could build what they want rather than buying some approximation of what they want and beating it into shape).

Re:Amazon's private cellular network? (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year ago | (#44669019)

It makes some sense... If Amazon has enough Kindles out there scarfing down content, they might be able to save a lot of money by having their own wireless data service comparable to the nation-wide cellular service. Making the hardware, they can stick in whatever kind of proprietary radios they want, and then they'll have a large installed base of potential customers that only need to click the button to signs-up for service. And they've got lots of content in their walled-garden to fill those invisible series of tubes as well.

They've obviously got a partner with enough spectrum. And telcos like Sprint are actively soliciting rental space on their cell towers, so Amazon doesn't even need to do the hard part. They could have service up and running in a few big cities in just weeks.

Just what we need, more fragmentation. *sigh*

If it's convenient (and drives enough profit), no one will care one bit about this sort of fragmentation until it becomes an industry standard (to have your own network). And when people start to want interoperability, it will be too late - the price will go up for a non-fragmented alternative.

Re:Amazon's private cellular network? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44671799)

I've been expecting this for years. Amazon likes to own infrastructure (fulfillment centers, starting to experiment with their own last-mile delivery, etc.) as well as the fact that the last generation of Kindle Fire had a proprietary antenna that can work with almost any frequency. It definitely makes sense for them to own the pipe to their devices, and would give them an edge over Google or Apple.

"Don't want to pay monthly fees to get online? Well, now with Prime, you get 2GB of free transfer to any Amazon device for free, anywhere in the world, plus unlimited access to your Amazon content." Frankly, I'm surprised it's taken them this long.

Globestar TLPS (1)

jon3k (691256) | about a year ago | (#44669173)

I assume it's Globestar TLPS [globalstar.com] . It's a narrow range of frequency (10Mhz) in the upper 2.4Ghz range, for which Globestar has a nation wide license. It will supposedly be a new 802.11 service, not sure about compatibility with existing devices. Hopefully someone with more details can chime in.

Won't work in bad weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44669949)

Satellite doesn't work in bad weather. I know DirecTV goes down in storms.

Re:Won't work in bad weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44683529)

Satellite doesn't work in bad weather. I know DirecTV goes down in storms.

Very very true.

insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44687813)

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