Silicon Valley VC John Stanton says Steve Jobs wanted to create his own cellular network when he designed the iPhone (iNetwork?). Stanton, chairman of Trilogy Partnership, spent time with Jobs between 2005 and 2007, where he learned:
(Jobs) wanted to replace carriers. He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum. That was part of his vision.
Stanton says Jobs dropped the idea in 2007, but still wanted to have a major impact over wireless operators. With Sprint, Apple signed a four-year contract, worth of $15.5 billion, which allowed the company to sell the iPhone for four years. It's interesting to learn why Jobs told Stanton all this, knowing the VC's long history with wireless carriers. Stanton was one of the first employers of McCaw Cellular, which later became AT&T Wireless. After that he started Western Wireless, which later gave birth to Voicetream, which was bought by Deutsche Telekom and became T-Mobile.