Amazon might be planning to offer Prime subscribers a pretty significant perk: free cell phone service. According to Bloomberg, the company is talking with multiple US-based carriers about offering cheap — around $10 a month — or even free phone service to Prime customers. Right now, Amazon is supposedly negotiating with the three major US carriers (Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile) as well as the Dish Network, though it sounds like talks with AT&T have fallen off in recent weeks.
It’ll likely be a while before this potential offering launched, as Bloomberg says that talks have only been ongoing for about six to eight weeks and they could still be scrapped. But given how expensive mobile plans can get, this could be a potentially interesting offer for Amazon customers. Of course, that would require a further commitment to Amazon, which already has its fingers in a frankly absurd number of different businesses.
So far, there are no details on what Amazon’s service might look like — whether it would offer the same level of service as you’d get going directly through Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T. Specifically, carriers tend to offer more data at 5G speeds depending on what plan its users choose; there are also a ton of perks that carriers tend to include these days like Netflix from T-Mobile or Apple Music or Disney+ on Verizon.
But it’s not hard to imagine that a lot of customers would trade some of those perks or even less high-speed data to get mobile service for free. That’s assuming they’re OK tying yet another part of their digital lives to Amazon — but if you’re already hooked on Prime, this could make for a compelling new part of Amazon’s subscription plan.