Amazon Whispernet used to refer to the optional 3G cellular access for various Kindle models. Once purchased, it would provide would allow customers to buy ebooks from Amazon, outside of a normal WIFI connection. Recently, Amazon has retired the Whispernet brand and has deleted all of the dedicated pages that used to describe what it is all about. Amazon only refers to cellular internet access as WAN and now makes no reference to Whispernet in any of the product description pages.
Technically Whispernet is more than just 3G, its the process by which your kindle, whenever its connected to the internet, by either 3G or WiFi, contacts Amazon, and checks to see if there is anything that it needs to download and then downloads the objects. This could include ebooks, magazine and newspaper subscriptions and documents.. I believe it was initially called Whispernet because it just silently happens in the background whenever you device is connected.
Why is Whispernet branding being retired news? It all comes down to every single Kindle model with 3G internet access will no longer be able to connect to a 3G tower in the US in 2022 and most of the world from 2022 to 2025. Amazon is quietly adjusting their brand message to not make reference to 3G anymore and are scrubbing away anything to do with the immediate shutdown.
Whispernet is not the only thing that has been discontinued. A couple of months ago, Amazon had a global coverage map, that listed all of their international carrier partners for Whispernet enabled 3G Kindles. They also listed about 100 countries, where people could connect to 3G. Amazon has recently deleted their coverage map and all of their help file pages. Many Kindle models still have links in the product description that still make reference to this coverage map, such as the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.