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July 6, 2017
Amazon and Dish are reportedly in talks to enter into the connectivity game, a move which could pile further misery onto an already embattled traditional telco industry.
The two billionaire owners, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Dish’s Charlie Ergen, are supposedly moving towards a full on bromance, cosying up to each other at conferences, while whispering naughty ideas about space and robotics into each other’s ears. While it should be noted neither Amazon or Dish have confirmed the talks, it wouldn’t be the first either has ventured into disruptive territory.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is the next company in-line to be wooed by Dish into entering some sort of connectivity partnership. According to the sources, Amazon could help finance a network Dish is building focused which would focus on the IoT craze, by becoming a preferred customer (potentially to drive its drone delivery business on the IoT side of things) or Amazon could push a monthly offer to Prime members for a connectivity or phone plan.
Either is a possibility, as while Amazon found itself in the online retail space, Bezos has shown the ability to wander down unknown routes. AWS, for example, essentially kick-started the cloud computing segment, while Bezos has also decided to try to become a media mogul by purchasing The Washington Post, as well as simultaneously buying Whole Foods. Entering into the connectivity game might seem like a step too far for Amazon, but with Bezos at the helm, who knows?
Ergen has reportedly been pushing for a partnership with every telco available, as while he has the spectrum to capitalize on the connectivity craze, he doesn’t have the network. Dish is currently building a ‘bare bones’ network which will cost less than $1 billion, but this only seems to be as a means to meet government demands. If Dish does not make use of the spectrum which it has acquired by 2020, it might be forced to get rid so someone else can. A partnership with Amazon could help fund this network.
Mari Sibley over at our sister-publication Light Reading, doesn’t seem entirely convinced by the idea, but this wouldn’t be the strangest thing to happen in the States. Look who’s in charge of the country…
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