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Mobile

Apple denies report it's getting into wireless business

The company says it has no plans to launch a mobile network similar to Google's Project Fi.

Apple shot down a rumor that it's working on a wireless network to rival Verizon and other carriers. James Martin/CNET

Apple on Tuesday shot down a report that it's in talks to introduce its own wireless network in the US and Europe.

Business Insider, citing unnamed sources, on Monday reported that Apple was working on a mobile network similar to Google's Project Fi. The publication said Apple's wireless service would allow customers to pay the company directly for data, calls and texts, while automatically switching between carriers to give users the best service. Business Insider said it would be at least five years before Apple's service would launch.

But Apple on Tuesday said it hasn't explored a wireless service.

"We have not discussed nor do we have any plans to launch an MVNO," an Apple spokeswoman said.

The initial report from Business Insider said Apple was privately testing a mobile virtual network operator service, or MVNO, in the US. An MVNO is a wireless service provided by a company that doesn't own the network infrastructure that powers the service. FamilyTalk Wireless, FreedomPop and Republic Wireless are examples of companies that rent wireless service from network providers -- like Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint -- and then provide the service to their own customers.

The newest MVNO came from Apple rival Google. The Internet giant earlier this year unveiled a wireless service -- called Project Fi -- that switches between cellular and Wi-Fi signals and lets customers pay for only what data they use. Typically, smartphone owners pay wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon a bulk rate for a certain amount of data.