Masayoshi Son, center, with Steve Jobs, looking at the iPhone he would sell in Japan that would make his company Japan’s largest wireless provider
It’s the broadband version of disruptive innovation. Japan’s chairman of Sprint, the wireless mobile carrier, and currently a tiny player in the U.S. market, wants to bring the fight for being the world’s largest carrier of Internet content, services, and applications to the United States. Masayoshi Son, founder, CEO, and chairman of SoftBank, who owns Alibaba and Yahoo of Japan, and now Sprint, believes the U.S. ranking of 15th out of 16th in broadband speed makes it ripe for a fight.
In his interview with Charlie Rose, http://www.hulu.com/watch/606911, Son, who pioneered the iPhone in Japan by buying Vodaphone and then getting Apple’s OS by personally flying to California and setting up a meeting with Apple’s founder and CEO Steve Jobs even before the iPhone was introduced or Son had bought Vodaphone, now wants to challenge the carriers who control over 90 per cent of the U.S. commercial and consumer mobile market. He said that he knew even before the deal was consummated that the iPhone would revolutionize the mobile phone and essentially make it a computer.
San is a visionary and also Japan’s richest man with over $18 billion in net worth. His vision is to create the world’s largest Internet highway, key, he says, to the information revolution.
Dislodging AT&T and Verizon, he said, won’t be easy but, he argues, necessary, to have the U.S. be able to deliver the video, applications, and breadth of services that will make wireless the new highway as The Internet of Things begins to take hold. His bank, SoftBank, is holding talks to acquire T-Mobile to even the fight. SoftBank acquired Sprint last year.
Is this another example of the innovator’s dilemma?
Stay tuned as Son and others seek to bring more competition into the U.S. wireless carrier industry and with it cheaper services, faster service, and greater content and applications.
A shorter version of the Charlie Rose interview where Son responds to Rose’s question about whether Son can buy T-Mobile to launch his U.S. fight for wireless dominance.