Amazon and Dish Network reportedly discussed a potential partnership to enter the US mobile market, with a tie-up tailored around the US broadcasters’ IoT ambitions on the cards.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing unnamed sources, reported Dish chief Charlie Ergen discussed the possible move with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, although the report cautioned no deal is imminent, or even certain to go ahead.
Satellite TV mogul Ergen sought to collaborate with telecoms companies T-Mobile US and Sprint in the past, and is now turning to the technology world. A potential partnership with Amazon could take shape in a number of ways, said WSJ.
One of the ideas on the table could see Amazon finance Dish’s IoT network, which is currently in the works.
The partnership could also see Amazon prime members given the option to pay more on their plans for connectivity or a phone plan operated through Dish, said WSJ sources.
However, Amazon making an all out acquisition of Dish is unlikely, noted the report.
Flurry of activity
The partnership rumours follows a recent deal between the two to allow Dish customers to control their set top TV boxes through Amazon’s Echo speakers, while Dish also made its streaming apps available on Amazon Fire devices.
The potential of an Amazon, Dish entrance into the US mobile market adds to a recent flurry of partnership and talk of M&A in recent months.
Number four player Sprint was reported to be in talks with closest rival T-Mobile US about a potential deal, but it was put on hold after the SoftBank-owned company announced it was exploring a potential deal with cable companies Comcast and Charter Communications.
Indeed, Comcast and Charter announced their own deal a few months back to collaborate on their respective entrances into the mobile sector.
WSJ added Sprint’s decision to enter talks with the two cablecos could lead to another round of talks between T-Mobile US owner Deutsche Telekom and Dish, after discussions in 2015 collapsed.
Dish’s ambition to enter the mobile market is no secret, and the company has been known to be buying up spectrum as it looks to diversify from its ailing satellite business.