Apple is reportedly ramping up work on setting up its own wireless network and satellite communications. A Bloomberg report on the matter has cited people with inside knowledge to state that CEO Tim Cook himself is expressing interest on this project, highlighting it as a company priority. The project has seen the hiring of many executives and engineers with expertise on aerospace, satellite and wireless communications equipment design in recent times, and is seemingly directed at Apple setting up its own network to bypass carriers — a vision that the late Steve Jobs had once expressed.

So, what does this mean? According to the Bloomberg report, what Apple is exploring is a way to set up its own data and wireless communications service, wherein it beams its own connection to its ecosystem of devices. If it does manage the same, this would mean that Apple will no longer be dependent on third party wireless carriers for internet connectivity, and as a result, may be able to offer its own suite of plans and communication service, alongside hardware. This will allow it to further expand the suite of infotainment services (News+, TV+, Arcade), which falls right in line with Apple’s notion of offering a complete ecosystem wherein the average user does not need to look beyond Apple for any requirement.

This also means that Apple will be able to offer superior mapping and navigation services to its devices, as well as a closer integration with eSIM devices such as the Apple Watch. With the Watch, Apple’s own data services can possibly be tied up with healthcare service providers, making the Apple Watch’s credentials as a lifesaving device even stronger.

AppleHaving its own wireless network can help Apple further tighten its ecosystem between hardware and software. (Photo: Reuters)

In order to do this, Apple’s internal division on the matter is being headed by Michael Trela and John Fenwick, who were previously at the helm of Skybox Imaging, and subsequently, Google’s satellite and space communications department. The duo, along with their team, are working on the best possible way of going about the business, and according to reports, may include exploring its own satellite deployment as well. However, given the multi-billion dollar expense of setting up a satellite constellation, Apple may also explore the idea of setting up its own ground equipment, and simply leasing a deployed satellite to enable this service.

For the consumer, it falls in line with reports of Apple hoping to set up an all-inclusive services plan in the long, long run. For instance, there may come a day when a fixed monthly lease fee can get users a top of the line iPhone/iPad, along with all of Apple’s services, and now, even Apple’s own connectivity. While Apple’s hardware is already regarded as among the best in the industry, services are being seen by the company as the latest method to expand and grow its business, and such bundled plans will be the pivot of Apple growing its entire ecosystem together, as a whole.

It is, however, important to note that Apple’s wireless communications plan is presently at very early stages, and if Apple does not find a viable way to deploy this, the venture may very well be scrapped. It can be told with some amount of certainty that Apple will not be rolling out its wireless services in the immediate future, and when it does, it is possible that the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google would also have their own wireless consumer network setups in place.

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