The new telcos: A field guide

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Telecoms is too important to leave up to traditional fixed and mobile operators. Thanks to the “democratisation” of shared spectrum, virtualised networks, fibre and cloud – plus the demands of industry, government and local communities – a plethora of new service providers are emerging to fill the gaps. This report is intended as a “spotter’s guide” to the categories of network owners and operators.


Format: PDF filePages: 56 pagesCharts: 19Author: Dean BubleyPublication Date: January 2021

Table of contents

  • Executive Summary
    • Overview
    • New telco categories and service areas
    • Recommendations for traditional fixed/mobile operators
    • Recommendations for vendors and suppliers
    • Recommendations for regulators, governments & advisors
  • Introduction
    • The historical landscape
    • Why are “new telcos” emerging now?
    • Where are new telcos likeliest to emerge?
    • Structure of this document
  • “Evolved” traditional telcos
    • Greenfield national networks
    • Telco systems integration units
    • “Crossover” Mobile, Fixed & cable operators
    • Extra-territorial telcos
  • Adjacent wireless providers
    • Neutral host network providers
    • TowerCos
    • FWA Fixed Wireless Access (WISPs)
    • Satellite players
  • Enterprise & government telcos
    • Industrial / vertical MNOs
    • Utility companies offering commercial telecom services
    • Enterprises’ corporate IT network service groups
    • Governments & public sector
  • New categories
    • Decentralised telcos (blockchain / cryptocurrency-based)
    • Other “new telco” categories
  • Conclusions

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: Summary of new telcos’ threats to traditional telcos
  • Figure 2: Field guides are collections/lists of natural & human phenomena
  • Figure 3: Virtualisation & cloudification of networks helps newcomers as well as existing operators
  • Figure 4: Examples of Greenfield National Networks
  • Figure 5: Examples of Telco Systems Integration Units
  • Figure 6: Examples of Cross-over Fixed/Mobile Operators
  • Figure 7: Examples of Extra-territorial telcos
  • Figure 8: Examples of Neutral host network providers
  • Figure 9: Examples of TowerCos
  • Figure 10: Examples of FWA Fixed Wireless Access (WISPs)
  • Figure 11: Examples of Satellite Players
  • Figure 12: Examples of Industrial/Vertical MNOs
  • Figure 13: Examples of Utility companies offering commercial telecom services
  • Figure 14: Enterprises’ corporate IT network service groups
  • Figure 15: Examples of CloudCos, IT outsourcers & XaaS providers
  • Figure 16: Examples of Governments & public sector telcos
  • Figure 17: Examples of Decentralised Telcos
  • Figure 18: the 5G era drives transformation of telecom itself
  • Figure 19: Summary of new telcos’ threats to traditional telcosKeywords: 4G, 5G, 5G private networks, adjacent players, cablecos, campus networks, CBRS, cloudcos, converged operators, CU/DU, DAS, distributed antenna systems, enterprise, enterprise telcos, fibre, fibrecos, fixed networks, FWA, geostationary (GEO) satellites, Government, greenfield operators, HAPS, High altitude platforms, IoT, IoT platform, ISP, LEO satellites, LPWAN, MEO, multi-tenant, Municipal networks, MVNO, network-as-a-service, neutral host, NH, open RAN, roaming, satellite broadband, satellite constellations, SD-WAN, spectrum, systems integration, towercos, UCaaS, under-the-floor, unlicensed, Utilities, wholesale, Wi-Fi, wireless ISPs, WISPs