John Stanton: Steve Jobs Wanted To 'Replace' Mobile Phone Carriers With Unlicensed WiFi Network
Apple founder Steve Jobs wanted to build his own mobile data network using the unlicensed WiFi spectrum rather than work with mobile phone providers, an industry figure has claimed.
John Stanton, the founder of Western Wireless and current venture capitalist, told a law seminar that Jobs "wanted to replace carriers" and have the iPhone operate on its own network built on the WiFi spectrum.
"He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum," Stanton said on Monday at the Law Seminar International event in Seattle. "That was part of his vision."
Jobs would have preferred not to have gone with AT&T as its initial wireless partner, Stanton said, but creating his own network proved to be one step too far.
Stanton said that Jobs gave up on the idea in 2007, but still had aims to alter the mobile landscape when he lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.
"If I were a carrier, I'd be concerned about the dramatic shift in power that occurred," Stanton said, according to IDG News.
Stanton said that the shift from carriers determining device specs, software development and other integral elements of a new phone to merely being one carrier among many was mainly down to the impact of the iPhone - and by extension its ultimate inventor, Apple's CEO.
Stanton is in a position to know. Listed by Forbes as one of the world's 100 richest men he spent time with Jobs during the development of the phone as the head of T-Mobile in the US.