CUPERTINO, Calif., Aug. 4 (UPI) — Technology giant Apple may soon offer its own wireless service, according to a new report from Business Insider.
Apple is considering the launch of a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the U.S. and Europe. It is already privately trialing such service in the U.S. but is conversing with telecommunications companies in Europe in order to potentially offer service there as well.
Were Apple’s wireless service to become a reality, customers would pay the company directly for data, calls and texts. They would also receive an Apple SIM that switches between carriers in order to provide them with the best service.
This is an advantage of MVNOs, which are virtual carrier networks where in tech companies lease spaces from established carriers (e.g. T-Mobile, AT&T) and sell it directly to their customers.
It may take Apple as long as five years to roll out pricing plans for customers if it chooses to do so.
The news accompanies an earlier Business Insider report that Apple was experimenting with a service called iCloud Voicemail, which has the added feature of automatically transcribing voicemail messages using Siri.
Recent actions by Apple have also fueled rumors of an Apple MVNO. In 2014, Apple launched their Apple SIM, which allows them to switch between networks for best service and is currently available only for the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. As early as 2006, Apple filed a patent for an MVNO which it is now looking to expand.
Google is also testing an MVNO. Dubbed Project Fi, the service is only available for the Nexus 6 smartphone in the U.S. Back in 2012, Disney and ESPN provided MVNO service but later shut them down.