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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is holding discussions to commence a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service in the US as well as Europe. The organization is presently running a private trial of an MVNO service in the United States. However, it also engaged telecom majors in Europe regarding getting its service there.

An MVNO is a virtual carrier network where space is leased from existing carriers and offered to customers at a price.

Rather than giving money to your carrier each month, you will give money to Apple directly for texts, calls, and data. The Apple SIM switches from one carrier to another to provide the best service. The telecom organizations sell off their capacity to Apple in this scenario.

Apple has in the testing phase iCloud Voicemail, which is a service transcribing voicemail messages harnessing Siri. It’s logical that Apple desires to control voicemail prior to commencing an MVNO. Currently, your carrier stores your voicemails.

There exists no assurance that Apple’s service will commence. Even if it does, it will take a fair while. As per sources, Apple’s approach is long term, and it may take as long as five years for a full-fledged service. People already know about the plans for a virtual network of Apple for a long time now.

Apple filed a patent for an MVNO service nine years ago. It has subsequently tried to extend that patent.
Apple launched its SIM in 2014. Leveraging a SIM card, customers can switch between different networks. The card could utilize many different carriers. Presently the card works on only the iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2. However, the future could see SIM cards as part of an Apple MVNO targeting iPhones.

Incidentally Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been testing its proprietary MVNO. The latter known as Project Fi is restricted to the Nexus 6 smartphone in the United States. All MVNO services have not succeeded. For instance Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) and ESPN failed. Success for Apple will empower it with greater control over the iPhone experience. It may herald an era where both the cell phone and cell service are provided by the same entity.

Sources: digitaltrends, businessinsider