Telco economics: Network sharing in a 5G world

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Passive network sharing is a well-established practice, but 5G may force telcos to consider more active network sharing to overcome financial, technological and physical constraints. We explore 5G network sharing options and cost structures, drawing lessons from existing agreements.


Format: PDF filePages: 46 pagesCharts: 24Author: Robert HarrisonPublication Date: August 2018

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Network sharing is well established
  • 5G is bringing changes
  • Obstacles: MNO fear of sharing
  • Other Issues
  • Structure of report
  • How will 5G drive demand for sharing?
  • Overview
  • Spectrum: Use of higher frequency bands
  • Options for sharing
  • How will 5G affect costs of sharing?
  • Current costs
  • How will networks costs be split in the future?
  • NFV, Cloud and Slicing
  • How soon does the market need 5G?
  • Other options for MNOs
  • Neutral host
  • Implementation: Lessons from experience
  • Timing is important to obtain best results from sharing
  • Lessons from existing sharing arrangements
  • Conclusions & recommendations
  • Recommendations for telcos

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: Types of network sharing
  • Figure 2: Typical network cost splits of no sharing versus sharing active RAN
  • Figure 3: Modelled effect of 3.5 GHz RAN sharing on 5G rollout speed in UK
  • Figure 4: Typical top-level split of network costs (opex)
  • Figure 5: Losses from building penetration as frequencies increase
  • Figure 6: MORAN sharing Figure 7: MOCN Sharing
  • Figure 8: Shared spectrum efficiencies Figure 9: Examples of spectrum sharing
  • Figure 10: Range of typical network costs as percentage of total
  • Figure 11: Typical breakdown of RAN opex costs
  • Figure 12: Network and IT costs
  • Figure 13: Effect of increased number of cell sites on proportion of network cost in RAN
  • Figure 14: Population and coverage data for the UK
  • Figure 15: Capex and opex infrastructure costs
  • Figure 16: Population coverage for different levels of gross annual capex
  • Figure 17: Base case coverage (£2 billion per annum)
  • Figure 18: The effect of sharing small cell layer on rollout
  • Figure 19: Effect on regional rollout of sharing small cells
  • Figure 20: Ericsson mobile data growth forecast
  • Figure 21: Ericsson forecasts data traffic growth 2018–2023 by region
  • Figure 22: Growth in traffic for different applications
  • Figure 23: Neutral host configuration for US 3.5GHz CBRS
  • Figure 24: Red Compartida coverage targets

Technologies and industry terms referenced include: 5G, Business Model, capacity, capex, competition, coverage, high frequencies, in-building, MVNOs, network sharing, neutral hosts, opex, private networks, RAN, regulation, roaming, spectrum sharing