Is Apple Starting Its Own Direct Mobile Service or Not?

Tech giant Apple is either about to start mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services in the U.S. and Europe . . . or else itEUs not. Reports that Apple is privately building an MVNO service in the United States and is in discussion with telecom companies in Europe about setting up shop there, too, were quickly shot down by the company today.

In a statement to both CNBC and Reuters, Apple insisted that it hasnEUt even discussed plans to launch a wireless phone service. The statement didnEUt provide any further information.

"We have not discussed nor do we have any plans to launch an MVNO," according to the statement from Apple.

Conflicting Report

But according to sources close to Apple, those plans are in place and are being acted on, Business Insider said yesterday. An MVNO is a virtual carrier network that operates on leased space from major carriers, allowing the lessor to sell directly to customers.

Apple would not be the first tech giant to try out the wireless service business. In the spring, Google announced Project Fi, a wireless service project that will run on the networks of Sprint and T-Mobile. Project Fi is currently available only for the Nexus 6 smartphone in the U.S., but Google hasnEUt ruled out expanding its availability. Several years ago, Disney and ESPN tried to launch their own MVNO services but quickly shut them down.

According to Business InsiderEUs report, though, AppleEUs service would be different. Rather than paying a carrier once per month, users would pay Apple directly for data, calls, and texts. In return, Apple would provide users with the services they had been getting from their carriers, but with an Apple subscriber identity model (SIM) that switches between carriers to get the best service. Telecom companies would auction capacity to Apple to help...

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