Active network sharing is gaining importance in the telecom industry. By the end of 2009, many sharing deals were signed. The newer deals being signed across the globe are larger than past deals in terms of network size, scope & number of subscribers
Online PR News – 20-May-2010 – – Network sharing is an approach where two or more competitor network operators share their network resources. The degree and method of sharing can vary from country to country depending on regulatory and competitive landscapes. Co-operation in the form of network sharing or infrastructure sharing brings a ray of hope for operators who want to continue to remain dominant market players. Sharing strategies work on game theory idea of identifying when the outcome of co-operation is actually better than the one of sustaining direct rivalry.
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The prime objectives of network sharing must not only be to realise Capex and OpEx savings but also to offer highest level of network quality to the customers of all sharing partners. Network sharing by no means should lead to deterioration of network quality. Only then can operators retain their customers and provide differentiated services.
Operators are aware that infrastructure sharing offers opportunity for product innovation and improved customer services. Around 70% of operators have used sharing to their advantage in forms such as site sharing, co-location and national roaming in the liberalised and emerging markets. However, advanced sharing concepts are now emerging and operators must take benefits of the new CapEx/OpEx saving opportunities.
For the majority of operators, network sharing will become a critical strategy to survive in the market. This will help them to expand 3G coverage and make utilisation of the OpEx savings in number of other areas such as LTE and IMS. By 2015, as many as 90% of operators across the globe will implement network sharing of some form.
Operators should not just take a fragmented view, they should take into consideration the overall business needs and cost structures while defining their network sharing strategies.
Active network sharing is gaining importance in the telecom industry. By the end of 2009, many new sharing deals were signed. The newer deals being signed across the globe are larger than previous deals in terms of network size, scope and number of subscribers involved. However, sharing is a new concept and requires significant due diligence.
In the UK, given the regulatory pressure to cover the entire population by 2012, operators such as Vodafone and O2 plan to pool their networks. T-Mobile and 3 also signed deals on network sharing. All companies will continue to compete under their own brand names, but putting together their networks will allow them to push mobile broadband into more rural areas and should allow them to reduce the 51,000 base stations dotted across the country by eliminating duplication.
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