Apple is in talks to launch its own virtual network
Apple is in talks to launch a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service in the US and Europe, Business Insider has learned.
Sources close to Apple say the company is privately trialling an MVNO service in the US but is also in talks with telecoms companies in Europe about bringing the service there too.
An MVNO is a virtual carrier network that sees technology companies lease space from established carriers and sell it to customers directly.
Here's how an Apple MVNO will work: Instead of paying your carrier every month, you will pay Apple directly for data, calls, and texts. Apple then provides you with everything you used to get from your carrier, but the Apple SIM switches between carriers to get the best service. The telecoms companies auction capacity to Apple so it can run the service.
There is no guarantee Apple's service will launch beyond a test phase, and if it does, it will not roll out anytime soon. Telecoms sources say Apple is looking long-term with its MVNO and could take at least five years to fully launch the service. Apple has been in talks with telecoms companies for years over its MVNO plans, those sources say, adding that it's an "open secret" among carriers that a virtual Apple network is on the way.
Business Insider earlier on Monday reported that Apple was testing a service called iCloud Voicemail that will automatically transcribe voicemail messages using Siri.