[FoRK] Kindle price slashed...

Michael Cummins michael at i-magery.com
Sat Oct 10 06:03:30 PDT 2009

> Stephen Williams:
> And the odd thing about that is that Sprint data roams in Canada...  
> Perhaps they can't work out a deal to cover the use with Canadian
> sdw

I read this here: 



No. The biggest barrier is likely the whispernet wireless technology that
allows Kindle owners to download books over the air. Amazon needs a Canadian
mobile carrier to be on board before they can launch.

If you were one of those Canadians that salivated over the iPhone while
Rogers and Apple dickered for a year over a carrier agreement, you may be
tempted to think similar baroque contract negotiations are holding back
Amazon from launching here.

Its more complicated than that.

Bell and Telus are desperate for customers. Witness their massive
advertising campaigns this past holiday. Rogers, the only iPhone carrier in
Canada, didn't advertise at all. So I am sure both Bell or Telus would be
receptive to any agreement that funneled money their way. But I bet Amazon
hasn't approached either of them yet.

The real problem is a company called Jasper Wireless. Actually the problem
is Jasper Wireless' business model.

If you don't know, the Kindle uses a evdo modem that works on Sprint's cell
network in the US. Most people think Amazon contracted directly with Sprint.
They didn't. They signed up with one of Sprint's MVNO's - Jasper. Jasper was
a new company at the time and I am willing to bet that Amazon's contract
with Jasper is exclusive. For the Kindle to grow, Jasper has to grow. And
the MVNO market is dead everywhere but in the US and Jasper's specialty -
machine-to-machine cellular - has yet to explode like I bet they were
hoping. Launch with the Kindle then expand to smart vending machines and

I am speculating that the Kindle won't come to Canada or the UK until Jasper
can find other revenue sources in those countries. If that doesn't happen
quickly then Amazon needs to find other wireless providers that have the
specialized know-how that Jasper has. To the best of my knowledge at time of
writing, there aren't any.

If you see a networked toaster at The Bay, buy it. That might get us our
ebook fix faster.


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