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Amazon is seeking FCC permission to conduct wireless technology tests

It’s not clear what the tests are for

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Last week, Amazon.com filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission, seeking permission to run experiments on a number of frequency bands that might have some connection to the company’s work with delivery drones.

The application requests permission for a “five-month experimental special temporary authority to operate on selected” frequencies to test equipment and software “designed to support innovative communications capabilities and functionalities.”

The proposal also specifies that Amazon plans on running the tests in two locations: Seattle and Kennewick, Washington. Three low-power, fixed transmitters and wireless units will be installed in each location. The application also specifies that the company might incorporate evaluating antennae as part of the study. Business Insider reports that the company maintains a customer service outlet in a mall in Kennewick, while the Seattle test site would be at the company’s corporate headquarters.

Amazon’s FCC application outlined that the company would first run its tests within its Seattle headquarters, and would use expand to the Kennewick site for outdoor tests. It also noted that while it requested permission to install its equipment within a 120-kilometer radius of the Kennewick site, it noted that this is for flexibility purposes, and that it would limit its tests to within five kilometers of the facility.

Business Insider also notes that one of the contacts listed on the filing is Neil Woodward, a former NASA astronaut who is presently the senior manager for flight test and certification at Amazon Prime Air. Business Insider noted that other tech companies such as Google and Facebook have conducted their own similar wireless tests.