Assessing the case for Single Wholesale Networks in mobile communications
Policymakers in a number of countries are proposing to establish a single wholesale network (SWN) instead of relying upon competing mobile networks to deliver 4G mobile broadband services in their country.
These proposals often appear to be motivated by concerns that existing models of network competition have failed to deliver sufficient network coverage, particularly in rural areas. They may also arise from concerns about a lack of competition in the retail market or a wish for Government to take a direct ownership interest in the telecommunications industry.
The GSMA commissioned Frontier Economics to critically assess the economic case for SWNs in mobile communications, looking at the cost and benefits of SWNs compared with the prevailing network competition model and examining how well SWNs are suited to meet Government’s socio-economic objectives. Our main findings are summarised in this report.