Feeds

back to article Jobs mulled building own mobile network for iPhones

Telecoms execs will be shifting nervously in their seats today as news filters out of a near miss for their business models. Steve Jobs wanted to ditch the mobile operators and make his own network for iPhones when he thrust them upon the world in 2007, says John Stanton, a wireless industry pioneer. Stanton was speaking in …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Stop

Even many billions won't get Apple that far

The world is a very big place.

4
2
Anonymous Coward

Just don't live in places where Apple haven't built base stations

Not that big of a deal.

13
2
Anonymous Coward

The world is a big place...

And Wifi mesh networking can grow to its many nooks and crannies. Apple doesn't have to invest in coverage to all of it, maybe a few hubs at most.

Crowdsourcing already works wonders for location services, in a few years when we're all packing Wifi enabled smartphones of some kind...

Although Microsoft is better positioned for it since they own Skype already.

3
4
Silver badge

I doubt he considered the bits not in the USA.

Or even south of the Mason-Dixon line...

2
0
Silver badge
Devil

The carriers have seeded control only temporarily

In a year or two Apple will have to do LTE. LTE mandates IMS implementation which nicely gives the operator back the billing and service control interface.

So unless Apple manages to kill IMS completely and switch completely to a VOIP framework of its own for LTE it will have no choice but to give the operators the keys to chains that yank it in the correct place along with other phone vendors. Ditto for Google.

Granted Microsoft (skype), Apple (facetime), Google (gtalk) have all prepared themselves for that battle, but it is yet to be fought. The fat lady has not sung its last song yet for the operator model.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Perhaps if he truly wanted to "bypass the telcos" he could do it the way Asda Mobile, Tesco Mobile, etc, have done it, without actually installing a single Mbit of capacity.

Their model doesn't really bypass the telcos at all but works by reselling someone else's product at lower prices than the branded equivalent, relying on low margin high volume channel/product to make money.

But of course low prices and low margin are not The Apple Way.

12
4
Silver badge

Control

That business model means not only low prices,but also low control. Apple likes to own the whole environment.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

downvoted by 2 apple fanboys and counting

3
4
Anonymous Coward

That would suck since the virtual mobile networks are cheap for a reason, it's a way for the main carriers to sell excess capacity. As soon as there's no excess capacity guess whose traffic gets dropped first?

The download speeds of Tesco/Giff Gaff vs O2 contract customers is a great example.

0
0
HMB
Bronze badge
WTF?

Only asses bitch about people down voting them. Some people didn't like what you said, deal with it.

4
7
Anonymous Coward

Only asses POST about people downvoting.

And btw the 2nd AC14:56 isn't me. I'm AC 13:07.

Deal with it :)

0
3
Anonymous Coward

AC 14:56

downvoted because mvno's are not about low cost high volume, but about selling excess capacity and inferior quality service - so the OP's whole premise is wrong.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"it's a way for the main carriers to sell excess capacity. "

In what way do the official mobile operators have "excess capacity", at least in the country where you can get Asda, Tesco, and Virgin mobile?

I fully understand the MVNO concept and the excess bandwidth concept. I even used to understand the significance of OSS, BSS, HLRs, SS7 and other such verbiage. Feel free to blind me with science if you wish :)

As a punter I also understand the achievable throughputs on any of the UK's mobile networks (be they GSM, GPRS, EDGE, or 3G) very very rarely come anywhere near the theoretical values, whatever O2 may have claimed at their "4G" launch earlier this week.

"The download speeds of Tesco/Giff Gaff vs O2 contract customers is a great example."

Sounds plausible, especialy given the target markets, but is there any actual evidence?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Donkeys?

What have donkeys got to do with it? Silly arse.

0
0
Silver badge

Would have been funning to watch

Could have been the biggest flop in the companies history.

Still if would have been a real laugh watching hundreds of fanbois huddled round access points desperate to update their facebook pages (sorry make that iface pages, facebook is outside Apples control so wouldn't be allowed inside the wall), twit and heaven forbid, actually make a phone call. I wonder whether anyone in Apple remembers the Rabbit phone?

Still this might explain why the original iPhone was launched with no 3G.

3
0
Meh

Back to 1995

And wasn't Windows 95 and MSN supposed to replace the Internet?

1
1
Trollface

All IPhones work only on the _exclusive_ apple network which you must provide yourself by buying a small base station.

This is a feature! Didn't you read? Exclusive!

1
1

The idea would have been for the phones to create a peer to peer network amongst the phones themselves - who wants to pay for base stations?

1
2

So my non-user-replaceable battery gets worn out by everyone else but me jabbering away? No ta.

1
0
Silver badge

Get used to it Operators

People just want a connection, a pipe.

Operators have NOTHING else that people want or need.

SMS? Charging lots for something that costs nothing...

They charge about x300 times per MByte for voice (2G, 3G) than Data. Expect data prices to double when the old licences to print money (SMS and voice) evaporate.

4
0
Silver badge

@ Get used to it

Same problem.

> Get used to it Operators #

> People just want a connection, a pipe.

s/pipe/phone/

> Operators have NOTHING else that people want or need.

s/Operators/Manufactures/

I think phone manufactures should also get there head around the fact that I want them to sell me a phone. I don't want them to sell me a life style, I don't want them to own my life. I don't want them to dictate what SW I can run. I want to buy a phone and I then want to feel like its mine.

2
2
Anonymous Coward

next they'll be wanting to glue the sims in.....

4
1

"the first employee of the company that went on to become AT&T"

Wow.

Must be really, really old.

0
0
Gimp

It'd actually be very cheap to do if your considering it in terms of iBudgets!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_virtual_network_operator

Fanboi for obvious reasons!

0
0
Thumb Up

it will happen still, and telcos will be just the network providers, like the internet providers are now. skype will suffice

0
0
Silver badge
Meh

Dunno about a full network, but what about a MVNO?

I don't think Apple could have gotten enough revenue from the operation to pay for a full nationwide network in any country bigger than San Marino but I was always suprised they never went down the MVNO route. Would have given Steve a lot of the control he's famous for loving....

0
0

iMobile

Apple could have become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) like Virgin, Tesco or Asda mobile etc. They could use the name iMobile (they probably have the right to it anyway)

0
0
Bronze badge
Meh

I mulled over making...

a curried chicken and rabbit cassoulet once. Ingredients readily available, easy to do, but at what cost in the long run. We can all dream.

0
0
FAIL

What's the big deal?

If you don't buy one of the Jesus Phones...who gives a crap if Boy Wonder has/had his own network?

1
1
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: What's the big deal?

Well, when Apple has sued every other electronics-manufacturing company out of existence for illegally using Apple's patents on the tendency of electrons to carry energy through conductive materials, the only choice you'll have is to buy a Jesus phone (or other Apple product) or go back to living in caves. That's kind of a big deal as far as I'm concerned.

1
1
Joke

If you need me Steven...

...I'll be in the second cave on the left.

0
0
JDX
Gold badge

For goodness' sake

I'm sure Steve/Apple have dozens of ideas every year which they chat about, maybe do a bit of early thinking, and then ditch as bad. They'd admit they were bad ideas themselves... brainstorming sessions, idle fantasies, stuff that seemed great after a few glasses of wine...

0
0
Bronze badge

Their own MVNO might have been an appealing model, particularly if they handled billing through iTunes with transparent roaming at local prices: use an iPhone in the UK, it's on 'iNetwork' which actually happens to be O2-backed; get off the plane in the US, you're still showing as being on 'iNetwork' which happens to be AT&T's hardware. Considering they got O2 to roll out EDGE in order to suppose the original iPhone, an MVNO agreement would hardly have been a big step.

Then again, marketing, selling and supporting tens of millions of handsets from scratch would have been a big step, particularly back before the Apple Stores had the scale they do now - and as an MVNO, they'd have to deal with all the number porting procedures, billing headaches etc themselves instead of saying "OK, O2, you buy these handsets from us for X then give us y% of the revenue" and watching the crates of hardware from China turn into cash in Apple's account.

0
0
Silver badge

They wouldnt have to do the handsets from Scratch.

There's a large number of TP retailers out there who would have killed to be a launch partner.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

White label Apple? (now there's trademark-infringement time again)

"as an MVNO, they'd have to deal with all the number porting procedures, billing headaches etc themselves"

Do you not think at least one of the real operators would have been willing to offer a nearly-full-service but white label product for Apple?

0
0
Joke

He thought about it and then realised

icantaffordit

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Wed 4pm: "MVNOs are a way for the main operators to sell excess capacity ...The download speeds of Tesco/Giff Gaff vs O2 contract customers is a great example."

Wed 6pm: "Sounds plausible, especialy given the target markets, but is there any actual evidence?"

Thursday: <tumbleweed>

Do I detect at Wed 4pm the sound of a core operator employee hoping that his employer's corporate road warrior customers don't get themselves a bucketload of GiffGaff SIMs and save a fortune?

It's unlikely to happen much anyway, even if the MVNOs actually could be shown to be 2nd class traffic, because Corporate Purchasing typically don't work that way. But maybe they should (e.g. it might save Vodafone having to dodge quite as much tax).

[Your author here, like many elsewhere, was for many years a slave to massively overpriced sweetheart/kickback deals between corporate employer and contracted operator(s), yes including Vodafone. And when I say massive I mean MASSIVE]

0
0
Silver badge

I don't know if its still the case

but I know the Network Perception scores a few years back used to cause a lot of headscratching at T-Mobile. Virgin, who use their network consistenly had higher customer satisfaction in the quality of the network....

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.