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UK Mobile Networks "Unaware" Of Any Amazon Kindle Deal

Amazon might be pushing forward its popular electronic reader, Kindle, to more than 100 countries but it seems that at least in the UK, two of the country's biggest mobile operators have not been contacted to provide Amazon with a wireless network.

Both Vodafone and O2 told The Daily Telegraph that they did pitch to become network partners for Amazon's Kindle but their respective offers were dismissed. They only learnt about the AT&T partnership yesterday together with the rest of the world.

Vodafone in particular should be miffed because the world's largest mobile phone network has a US joint venture with Verizon and would have been very well placed to provide with a global wireless solution to Amazon.

The wireless, international version of the Kindle was launched yesterday with UK users having to order the device in the US rather than having a UK-centric version.

We suggested yesterday that Amazon could become a mobile virtual network operator to provide with a reliable network for the Kindle (and incidentally make some serious money).

After all it is one of the biggest names online and the UK market is very receptive to MVNO with Virgin Media, Tesco Mobile and Lebara being some of the most popular brands on the market.

Instead, it seems that AT&T Global Network will be the exclusive partner for Amazon. According to AT&T online fact sheet, the "fully digital voice and data network" covers more than 3.8 billion people in more than 200 countries.

Our Comments

But then AT&T hasn't apparently contacted its telecoms partners in the many countries where the Kindle is supposed to go on sale soon. Anyhow, Amazon needs to come clean or else that could be a very, very damaging public relations exercise with only a few days left.

Related Links

Mobile operators in the dark about Kindle (opens in new tab)

(The Register)

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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 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.