Amazon reportedly looking into adding mobile phone service to Prime membership

Amazon is reportedly talking to all major US carriers, including Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Dish, to add mobile phone service as a free or inexpensive perk to Prime membership. This is all according to a report from Bloomberg which spoke with people familiar with the situation that state the talks have been going on for two months. The wireless plans for Prime members may cost only $10 a month if not included entirely for free.

If Amazon were to offer mobile phone service, it would likely be through what is known as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) which would allow Amazon to piggyback on a major carrier’s national network, instead of building out its own. Google Fi, the tech giant’s wireless network, works in this fashion on T-Mobile’s network.

In the simplest scenario, offering free or low-cost phone service bundled with a Prime membership would be one heck of a way to make canceling the $139 annual subscription a very inconvenient task if your phone service would also need to change in the process. A more elaborate system could see Amazon utilizing its massive network of home devices, like Echo speakers and Eero WiFi routers, to provide mobile service over WiFi and use an MVNO agreement to fill out areas where its home devices aren’t nearby. There’s no indication that such an ambitious offering is in the works, but, given the deployment of Amazon’s Sidewalk network, one could see how such a wireless network isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.

  1. Versaveau says:

    Does Sidewalk even have the bandwidth necessary? And given the small minded, ill-informed Luddite reaction from certain quarters when Sidewalk was first announced, I wouldn’t think Amazon would use that in this situation, except maybe for a find my phone feature…

    • Anthony Rossetti says:

      sidewalk sucks, it is totally useless
      I have it enabled and so does my neighbor who has a ring flood light on their garage and ring doorbell on their back door, both are in close proximity to my detached garage, I also have echo devices in the back of my house, and in the detached garage I have an echo flex that loses connnection all the time or is unuseably slow most of the time.
      If sidewalk actually worked then this deice would not be getting such a piss poor connection.
      I also have dirt cheap tuya DIY smart switches in the garage and wyze cam on the garage and they work fine, the wyze cam can flake out sometimes if you try and use it with Alexa but besides that it works fine liek in the app, so there is no excuse for my echo flex to not get good coverage.

      • Versaveau says:

        I think you misunderstand sidewalk – it’s not a wifi extender

        • Anthony Rossetti says:

          I was under the impression that it was a wifi extender but only for Amazon devices, is that not what it is?

          • Versaveau says:

            It’s not meant for high bandwidth wifi devices like an echo device.
            “ Wi-Fi and cellular networks are designed for high-bandwidth activities, such as video calling, web browsing, and video streaming. Wi-Fi works over short distances, so it can fail to reach even the far corners of your own home. Cellular networks, such as those offering a 5th generation mobile network (5G), carry data greater distances, but they are complex and can be expensive. Both Wi-Fi and cellular networks use high-frequency waves and consume a lot of power. Sidewalk, on the other hand, is a low-power and low-bandwidth network that uses lower frequencies to reliably and securely transmit small amounts of data up to a kilometer or half mile away.”

    • David Fleetwood says:

      Avoiding corporate surveillance & data gathering is not ‘luddite’. Sidewalk would interest me if Amazon was going to pay me for using my connection. Otherwise no, they can’t use for free the service I pay for.

  2. Nick Cannon says:

    I’d definitely join prime if it came with service

  3. David says:

    Was planning on not renewing my subscription when it expires in Jan but free are really cheap cell phone service would keep me as a subscriber

  4. Anthony Rossetti says:

    I already have prime and TMO so is there any chance of free or discounted prime with TMO service?

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