An Amazon Prime plan may lower your mobile phone bill to about $10 or make it free


An Amazon Prime plan may lower your mobile phone bill to about $10 or make it free

Jeff Bezos snapped up the Amazon Fire phone in 2014, a product he would call a "failure" four years later. The company may be reconsidering the mobile space, but only as a wireless provider in partnership with another service.

Amazon may be preparing to introduce "Prime Wireless."

Bloomberg reports that a low-cost mobile phone plan could help Amazon increase its Prime subscribers.

Amazon reportedly talks to T-Mobile, Verizon, and Dish about the idea.

Amazon may soon be hanging another perk for potential Prime members: the chance to save big on your monthly mobile phone bill.

Bloomberg reported Friday that the company is talking with wireless carriers about offering a Prime Wireless plan that could range from $0 to $10 monthly for Amazon Prime members. According to the report, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Dish have all been involved in the talks, though the idea could take months to launch and may fail to materialize.

"We're always exploring adding more benefits for Prime members, but we don't have plans to add wireless at this time," Amazon spokesperson Bradley Mattinger told Insider in a statement.

"Amazon is a great partner for T-Mobile in so many areas, and we're always interested in working closely with our neighbors in new ways," a T-Mobile spokesperson told Insider. "However, we are not discussing including our wireless services in the Prime service, and Amazon has told us that it has no plans to add wireless service."

An AT&T spokesperson told Insider that the company is "not in discussions with Amazon to resell wireless services."

If such a service is launched, it will be a significant development in the wireless industry. Amazon is known for its patience and ability to spend huge amounts of money to gain market share, and wireless carriers will have to weigh the potential size of such a deal and the opportunity to grow their customer base with the potential risks of helping establish an eventual competitor.

For Amazon, it's all about shifting Prime membership numbers and keeping existing subscribers locked in with significant perks. This lock is especially important if the company is going to raise the price of Prime, which it did in 2022, increasing the annual subscription from $119 to $139.

But a low-cost cell phone from Amazon might be tempting.

Even at $10 per month, the Prime Wireless plan will be a real saving for most people. The average American pays $144 monthly for their phone bill, JD Power told CNBC.

According to a Bloomberg report, Amazon is discussing with wireless carriers to spin off its network as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) to save infrastructure building costs. MVNOs offer more affordable plans — the average US phone bill for an MVNO subscriber is $77 per JD Power, and no-frills, low-cost plans are around $15.

This is a far cry from Amazon's first foray into the wireless market. The famous Amazon launched the Fire phone nearly a decade ago in an exclusive arrangement with AT&T. The product faltered, with then-CEO Jeff Bezos describing the product in a 2018 letter to shareholders as a "failure" that helped "accelerate our efforts to build Echo and Alexa."

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