One of the things that interests me in 2014 is whether or not T-Mobile is going to be sold. I work at a company that, among other things, runs a virtual network on top of TMUS’s network-so I’m definitely interested in what might happen.
I keep thinking though, who else might want to buy T-Mobile’s network?
The one dark horse I keep imagining is Amazon (this might be bias induced by the fact that I both live in Seattle and my wife works there-although she’d know nothing of their telecom plans).
Now, why on earth would AMZN buy TMUS?
First thought: Prime.
You could imagine a world where being a Prime customer means that your Kindle Fire comes with unlimited Prime video anywhere in North America. Ditto for Amazon music served up by the cloud. Partner with Facebook for them to make their messenger app free.
Yet another way to get people to pay $79 a year.
Plus it also facilitates the launch of a Kindle phone (which could also include a free amount of minutes/data as part of a Prime membership).
But what about existing T-Mobile customers?
Simple: make them an MVNO. Rather than converting them all to Amazon, sell the T-Mobile brand and customer base to their management team and let them run it.
But Amazon could take it further: offer SIM as a service via AWS.
Amazon could create a new category for data-driven devices that piggyback off its existing infrastructure.
Want to create a network of sensors that measure air quality across your city? No problem, just buy 500 SIMs from AWS and their pay-as-you-consume data service can be added to each unit.
Cost too much? Just call up the console to shut off a couple of units.
And data is free if you pass it inside the AWS cloud.
Amazon could literally open up an entirely new category of services and end up owning the Internet of Things – even though all they set out to do was let people watch video for free.
Let’s see what happens to TMUS.