Amazon Inc. is reportedly negotiating with several wireless carriers in the U.S. about “offering low-cost or possibly free nationwide mobile phone service” to its U.S. Prime subscribers, reports Bloomberg citing people familiar with the situation.
According to the report, Amazon is reportedly in talks with Verizon Communications Inc., T-Mobile U.S. Inc., and Dish Network Corp. to buy their network capabilities for its proposed service.
Amazon May Offer Low-Cost Or Free Mobile Services To Prime Members
Amazon has been negotiating with the wireless carriers to get the lowest possible wholesale prices to offer Prime members wireless plans for $10 a month or possibly for free, including a potential tie-up with Dish Network.
The negotiations have been going on for six to eight weeks with the U.S. cellular carriers, including AT&T, although concrete decisions have yet to be made. The report adds that the e-commerce and streaming giant may scrap the idea if talks are unsuccessful.
“We are always exploring adding even more benefits for Prime members, but don’t have plans to add wireless at this time,” said an Amazon spokesperson in response to Bloomberg.
Verizon and T-Mobile both denied any talks with Amazon on the new offer
“Verizon is not in negotiations with Amazon regarding the resale of the nation’s best and most reliable wireless network. Our company is always open to new and potential opportunities, but we have nothing to report at this time,” a spokesperson for Verizon said in a statement.
“Amazon is a great partner to T-Mobile in many areas, and we are always interested in working more closely with our cross-town neighbors in new ways. However, we are not in discussions about the inclusion of our wireless in Prime service, and Amazon has told us they have no plans to add wireless service,” T-Mobile said in a statement.
“AT&T is not in discussions with Amazon to resell wireless services,” a company spokesperson said.
Amazon Prime subscriptions “stagnated” after the company increased the annual Prime subscription fees from $119 to $139, reports Bloomberg citing analysts.
If Amazon does offer low-cost or free wireless service, the company would considerably undercut the prices of many national carriers in the U.S. and compete with them for their current customers. Also, this could boost their Prime membership, which has seen a decrease in the number of new subscribers.