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Amazon To Launch UK Mobile Phone Network?

US Retailer Amazon may well be mulling plans to release a low-cost mobile phone network - as well as the Kindle DX - as revelations about its interest in becoming a mobile virtual network operator surfaced.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the Kindle DX e-book reader should reach UK by the end of the year, before Christmas. Mobile Today revealed how Amazon is in "advanced negotiations with a mobile operator" to become an MVNO.

Currently, the list of MVNOs in the UK include Virgin Mobile and the likes of TalkMobile and Tesco Mobile. A more complete list can be found here.

It would make sense for Amazon to roll out a virtual mobile phone network as it would provide the retailer with more flexibility. Furthermore, Amazon has just launched Amazon Wireless in the US which is a new website that offers mobile phones and wireless plans.

Obviously Amazon gets a commission for each phone sold and therefore it would make sense to have something similar in the UK. It only sells PAYG mobile phones or SIM free mobile phones for now but this may change very soon.

Should Amazon adopt Tesco's strategy, we can look forward to two different segments; a proper Amazon Mobile Network (similar to Tesco Mobile) and an Amazon Contract Mobiles, essentially a white-labelled price comparison website for mobile phones.

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Our Comments

Amazon is the 12th most visited website in the UK. In comparison, Tesco.com is only 59th which means that Amazon has the potential to become the biggest MVNO in the country quite quickly. Would that be a bad thing? Well, not necessarily since it would bring some competition.

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Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.