Verizon has recently started allowing customers to bring non-Verizon devices its network and will activate them. The program officially began this week and Verizon confirmed to 9to5Mac that it applies to the iPhone, as well as Google’s Nexus 6. Verizon notes, however, that the devices must be unlocked prior to being activated on its network.
carrier ▪ August 25
carrier ▪ August 4
In case you didn’t notice (which is basically no one at this point, thanks to the more-than-loud John Legere), T-Mobile has tried to be as disruptive as possible over the last couple years. And now, Sprint, which has long been the third-largest mobile carrier in the United States, is admitting defeat. It seems T-Mobile’s tactics are working, and Sprint’s first fiscal quarter report released today shows that its 56.8 million subscribers are just shy of the 58.9 million that T-Mobile reported it had last month.
carrier ▪ August 3
Telstra, the largest carrier in Australia, has today launched a new webpage on which it reveals an exclusive offering related to Apple Music. The carrier is offering new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus customers, across both 12 month and 24 month contracts, a free year of Apple Music on its Go Mobile plans. This offering is the first of its kind for Apple Music, and also hints at a another first: carrier billing.
Sources close to Apple say that the company is privately trialling an MVNO service in the US, but is also currently in talks with telecoms companies in Europe about bringing the service there too.
MVNO or Mobile Virtual Network Operator is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which the MVNO provides services to its customers. Google’s Project Fi uses Sprint and T-Mobile’s infrastructure and combines them to become a “super-carrier”.
Three weeks ago, the UK-based FT reported that Apple and Samsung were in talks with carriers to launch “e-SIM” cards and and Apple MVNO service might be an evolution of that.
The idea behind the talks is a universal standard for embedded SIM cards (“e-SIM”) that are built into the phone and not user accessible. These subscriber identity modules would allow customers to sign up for service on any network they wanted, then allow them to switch at any time (obviously with some limitations placed by the carriers).
Apple isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer in these discussions. Samsung is also reported to be part of the talks, meaning this tech could become a real standard across iPhone and Android devices, unlike Apple’s current SIM which is locked specifically to the company’s hardware.
Apple has a long history of flirting with the MVNO business with an insider revealing that Steve Jobs wanted Apple to become a carrier before the release of the iPhone (if only!). Telecom vet and former CTIA chairman John Stanton had worked with Jobs on the project… expand full story
carrier ▪ July 3, 2014
Apple confirmed today that it has released an unlocked variant of its cellular iPad in Japan allowing users to buy the device and use it with their carrier of choice. expand full story
carrier ▪ December 4, 2013
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has finally reached an agreement with China Mobile to carry the iPhone. China Mobile is currently the world’s largest mobile carrier with well over 700 million subscribers. Yesterday a subsidiary of the carrier started taking pre-orders for the smartphone, though the page was quickly pulled from its website.
Hong Kong stocks fall, but China Mobile climbs—
(@MarketWatch) December 05, 2013
In September the advertisment above leaked to the media. The image is a promotion for the iPhone 5s and 5c running on China Mobile’s network. The Chinese government, which controls China Mobile, confirmed that the phone would be available on December 18th last month, although neither Apple nor China Mobile would actually confirm the rumor.