Amazons Mysterious Wireless Tests Require FCC Permission

Telecom Tower.MichaelGaida/Pixabay

Monday, January 16, 2017 8:14 AM UTC

This is the age of wireless connectivity and it would seem that every major company is trying to get in on the action. Amazon already did that with phenomenal Alexa artificial intelligence, but now the retail giant just filed a request to the Federal Communications Commission for permission to run a wireless experiment. According to reports, it might have something to do with optimizing drone delivery.

The experiment will involve setting fixed points in order to drive wireless communication in areas around Washington and Seattle, Business Insider reports. There was no indication as to what the experiment is meant to yield, but according to the documents filed, it would have something to do with improving functionalities of wireless technology.

The more telling detail, however, is the fact that the main contact of the filings is listed as Neil Woodward. Woodward is now the senior manager of Amazon’s next generation delivery bid, Prime Air. As such, many are speculating that the experiment in question is meant to develop technology that would help make communications among the drones much more efficient.

In terms of likely candidates, other products by Amazon that could benefit from improvements in wireless technology include its Kindle tablet line and smart devices. Even its rocketing segment Amazon Echo and Alexa could receive considerable benefits from better communication, which would help speed the transfer of information and processing commands.

The experiment is set to go on for five months and will start in Seattle, The Verge reports. From there, Amazon will expand towards Washington. All in all, the experiment will cover an area 120 km in radius in terms of where the equipment will be installed, although the main tests will be conducted in a significantly smaller area. According to the filings, this is to provide the experiment with some flexibility in case there’s a need for some adjustments.

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