Amazon has filed an application with the FCC asking to run some wireless tests for a mostly unspecified purpose. The application requests permission to run tests pertaining to a variety of spectrum frequencies over the next five months or so, all to prepare for some research that Amazon plans to undertake next year. The e-commerce giant has countless reasons to ask the FCC for its blessing to run wireless network tests and its fairly vague filing only gives away a few key details on the company's latest endeavor. Even though these details don't come together to offer up anything concrete, there is a possible link to a delivery drone operation, while Amazon running their own wireless service seems like a remote possibility. An IoT application like a dedicated network for Amazon to talk to its Echo units is also on the table, all for various reasons that can be seen within the text of the application.
One of the biggest flags present in the text of the company's filing is the mention of Neil Woodward, a former astronaut who now heads Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery operation. The implications his name carries are seemingly obvious, but the filing gets far hazier from there. Amazon summed up the purpose of the application as a request to "evaluate prototype equipment and associated software designed to support innovative communications capabilities and functionalities." These tests are supposed to take place indoors at Amazon's facility in Seattle, then move to another set of facilities located in Kennewick.
Amazon will be using some sort of proprietary prototype equipment with frequencies running the gamut from the 700MHz range all the way up to 2GHz. Amazon acknowledged their intentions to use a lot of spectrum that is already licensed, adding that they plan to operate in accordance with these licenses and in a conservative fashion in order to minimize possible interference. Paired with the rather vague wording of the filing, this extremely wide range of frequencies implies some kind of wireless efforts, as well as IoT-focused applications. On the other hand, the mention of Woodward's name makes drone operations seem far more likely, but nothing is certain for the time being.