Infrastructure sharing (finally) fashionable ?

Infrastructure sharing in mobile networks has long been a non-issue for many operators. Despite the obvious cost reduction gains, sharing with your competitor limits your freedom to act on the market, to distinguish your product from the competition.  Obviously the operators so far have made enough (of our) money that they can disregard from the cost savings by sharing. It’s only when things get very costly, like in rural mobile broadband we have seen sharing solutions. Now, as the “capacity crunch” a.k.a the revenue gaps hits many operators, they struggle with the towering investments in order to cope with the rapid increase in data capacity. Sharing solutions again become interesting. We have seen this in Sweden where operators Tele2 and Telenor cooperate in LTE deployment … now we read in Cellular News that two of Russia’s largest mobile networks,  MTS and Vimpelcom, are reported to have agreed to jointly build a nationwide LTE network.  A sound development, but the flip-side is that competition is reduce – it remains to be seen if there are incentives to let the cost gains be reflected in lower prices for the consumer.

Read more about the anatomy of network sharing in this KTH thesis by Jan Markendahl

Jens Zander

About Jens Zander

Professor Jens Zander is professor in Radio Communication Systems at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. He has been among the few in Swedens Ny Teknik magazine's annual list of influential people in ICT that have been given the epithet “Mobile Guru”. He is one of the leading researchers in mobile communication and is the Scientific director of the industry/academia collaboration center Wireless@KTH. His research group focuses on three main areas – the efficient and scalable use of the radio frequency spectrum, economic aspects of mobile systems and application and energy efficiency in future wireless infrastructures.
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