America’s telecom giants say they have no plans to work with Amazon to offer low-cost wireless to Prime members.
A report Friday (June 2) by Bloomberg News said Amazon was in talks with Verizon Communications, T-Mobile US and Dish Network on a plan to offer Prime customers plans for $10 per month, if not for free.
However, Amazon later told PYMNTS in a statement — which didn’t address the talks — that the company was “always exploring adding even more benefits for Prime members, but don’t have plans to add wireless at this time.”
According to Reuters, telecom companies dismissed the reports of the talks Friday evening.
“AT&T is not in discussions with Amazon to resell wireless services,” a spokesperson said, while a Verizon spokesperson the company “is not in negotiations with Amazon regarding the resale of [Verizon’s] wireless network. Our company is always open to new and potential opportunities, but we have nothing to report at this time.”
And T-Mobile “said we are not in discussions about inclusion of our wireless in Prime service, and Amazon has told us they have no plans to add wireless service.”
Dish Network did to return Reuters’ request for comment. PYMNTS has reached out to the company as well but has not yet received a reply.
Last month saw reports that Dish was in discussions to offer wireless plans via Amazon as it prepares to roll out its 5G network.
A report by The Wall Street Journal said Dish executives have expressed a need to make sure Apple’s mobile devices can operate on its new 5G network to gain access to the iPhone’s substantial share of the market.
Reuters says a number of analysts argue that Amazon’s entry into the wireless game could trigger major disruptions in the telecom sector, as it could offer less costly plans.
“Amazon could certainly put a lot of its weight behind it and undercut competitors,” said Christopher Ali, a Penn State professor of telecommunications. “We might actually see cellphone prices go down, which would be a great thing.”
This is all happening at a time when Amazon and its rival, Walmart, are jockeying for customers’ loyalty. As PYMNTS data shows, both Amazon Prime and Walmart+ have added roughly 12 million subscribers year over year, with a total of 182 million individuals signing up for Amazon Prime subscriptions and 59 million having Walmart+ memberships.