10/15/2009 10:24:00 AM
Amazon to use US network AT&T to deliver Amazon Kindle
Amazon will use US network AT&T to deliver its Amazon Kindle ebook reader in the UK and will roam on all five big networks, Mobile understands.
The international roaming deal with AT&T will allow Kindle ebook readers to roam onto all UK networks through its existing wholesale deals, but Amazon may tie-up with a UK operator at a later date.
The AT&T agreement was made after Amazon failed to clinch a deal with UK operators in time for Christmas, sparking fears the company would lose out to other ebook rivals such as Sony.
One operator source said: ‘They weren’t able to get an operator in time so ?they are relying on AT&T’s wholesale deals.’
UK users will not be able to browse or read blogs over the mobile internet, but they will be able to download books from the Amazon site.
The data download costs will be charged per book and will be paid for by the user, Mobile understands. For example, a book could cost $10 in the UK, while it costs $9 in the US.
CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said: ‘Amazon may have decided that, rather than take on the cost of striking individual deals, it is better to swallow the cost of AT&T roaming charges. As it is, the US network has such purchasing power that those charges may not be such an incremental cost.’
The Kindle is due to launch in the UK on 19 October and will ?be sold via Amazon.com.
A company spokesman said: ‘Kindle with international wireless uses advanced 3G GSM technology to power Amazon’s wireless delivery system “Whispernet” over the AT&T Global Network.
‘Whispernet now provides wireless coverage in over 100 countries. We’re not providing additional details beyond our relationship with AT&T, since it’s seamless to our customers – no annual contract, no monthly fees, no hunting for a hotspot.’
The Kindle will retail for $279 (approx £176) and comes with a six-inch display and the ability to wirelessly download books and other content.