Dish Network Corp Chief Executive Charlie Ergen and Amazon.com Inc head Jeff Bezos have discussed a partnership to enter the wireless business, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Amazon could help bankroll a network Dish is building focused on the ‘Internet of Things’, and could possibly offer its Prime members an option to pay a little more per month for a connectivity or phone plan, the Journal said, citing one person.
Amazon could also offer a one-way broadcast signal for its Prime video on Dish’s airwaves, the paper said, citing a person close to Dish’s plans.
Dish has been buying up spectrum, or radio frequencies that carry the data flowing through devices, making it a potential acquisition target for U.S. wireless carriers such as Verizon Communications Inc, according to industry analysts.
Under the new deal, Amazon could help finance a network Dish is building focused on the ‘Internet of Things’, the WSJ says.
Another idea being discussed is that that Amazon, as a founding partner of Dish’s new wireless network, could offer an option for Prime members to pay a little more a month for a connectivity or phone plan, one of the people said.
An acquisition of Dish by Amazon is highly unlikely, the WSJ report added.
It says Amazon founder Bezos and Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen have grown closer in recent months, sharing interests in space and robotics.
The two met at a recent satellite conference, and Bezos also recently entertained Ergen in May in Seattle.
Amazon and Dish were not immediately available for comment.
In May, Dish and Amazon announced that Dish DVRs would get Amazon Alexa integration.
A new network could be an attractive option for Amazon, allowing it to do everything from controlling a network of drones to providing better connections to its Amazon Alexa and Dash devices to an enhanced signal for Amazon Prime video.
Analysts have said that the telecoms and cable sectors are primed for a wave of deal activity, and executives have openly talked about potential mergers.
U.S. wireless company Sprint Corp was reportedly holding talks with peer T-Mobile US Inc, before putting those plans on ice to explore a wireless partnership with Charter Communications Inc and Comcast Corp.
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