Apple trials MVNO in US, in talks over Europe launch – report

Apple trials MVNO in US, in talks over Europe launch – report

04 AUG 2015

Apple is reportedly trialling its own Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service in the US, while also holding talks with companies over a European launch.

A report from Business Insider indicates the company is now making significant strides in developing an MVNO offering, after years of rumours surrounding its operator ambitions.

The publication’s sources however warned there is no guarantee Apple’s service “will launch beyond test phases”, and if it does, it could take at least five years to fully rollout the service.

The move, which would see the technology behemoth sell network services directly to its customers, follows the recent launch of Project Fi, rival Google’s own MVNO offering.

Google Fi, which is only accessible on the Nexus 6 at the moment, works on both T-Mobile and Sprint networks, and operates from a single SIM. The service allows users to seamlessly transition from one network to another depending on which one has better coverage in a given location.

Google’s launch seems to have given rumours of an Apple MVNO launch more momentum, and its offering could work in a similar way, according to Business Insider.

iPhone users would pay Apple directly for data, calls and texts, instead of a carrier, and the Apple SIM will be able to switch between carriers to provide the best service. Operators will then be able to auction capacity to Apple, allowing it to run the service.

Among operators, Apple’s reported MVNO ambitions is something of an “open secret”.

According to sources, the company has been in talks with operators for years over how an Apple network would work. Apple also reportedly filed a patent for an MVNO service back in 2006, which it has since tried to extend.

Most recently, the company also launched an Apple SIM, which is compatible with the iPad Air 2 and iPad 3 Mini, to allow users to use their devices to switch between different networks.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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