An Amazon application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) emerged Saturday. The original application, which was first revealed in a Business Insider report, requests the FCC for a five-month experimental Special Temporary Authority to operate on selected channels on some mobile bands.
This is the first time that news has emerged about Amazon working on mobile technology. Could it be that the company is secretly working on an Amazon Alexa smartphone?
It wouldn’t be a completely outlandish notion, even if it's true. Amazon already has most of the technology figured out. The company already has its own Android tablets and a voice assistant, Alexa, which runs on many third-party devices in addition to Amazon's. This means that the company has the software know-how, but still needs to figure out the hardware — if it goes for an Amazon smartphone. That’s where prior approval for mobile band testing comes in.
The mention of mobile bands in the FCC application is explicit. The company has asked for a large amount of mobile bands, although it said in its application that it would use only some of the channels on these bands.
In addition to this, the company has also asked for the "evaluation of variety of antenna orientations and heights." Antennas too are generally used in smartphone technology for receiving different kind of signals, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and mobile data.
The company has not mentioned the name of the equipment manufacturer, but has stated that it will be using 10 mobile units per location.
The application ends with Amazon saying that the “grant of an experimental license will permit it to test and evaluate the performance and reliability of prototype equipment and associated software designed to support innovative communications capabilities and functionalities.”
Could this “prototype equipment” be a smartphone? We will get to know once the company is ready to showcase its technology, which should be at least 5 months from when it gets FCC approval.