Friday December 10, 2021

Single wholesale networks and network sharing: sharpening discussions on the 5G repercussions

Person looking at mobile phone smiling, light is reflecting on face in dark room

Author:

Peter Jarich, Head of GSMA Intelligence

Several well known mobile industry trends have driven a steady rise in the development of network sharing deals among operators over the past 20 years. These include the rising importance of mobile broadband coverage and adoption, the increasing costs of network deployment, and the focus on sustainability concerns and creation of green, energy efficient networks. These same drivers can be claimed as contributing to the rationale for single wholesale network (SWN) mandates. While SWNs are much less common, there have been examples of such arrangements in Mexico and Rwanda, and most recently a high profile plan in Malaysia. However, network sharing is fundamentally different to SWNs operationally and, importantly, in terms of outcomes.

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