Wednesday, January 23, 2008

3G - network sharing

3G-Infrastructure Sharing: the future for mobile networks

"Network sharing will become essential for operators that are struggling to expand 3G coverage and make funds available for a number of alternative investments."

Faced by the need to make a variety of substantial investments, most mobile network operators will implement network sharing of some sort within the next three years. The recent announcements of major network-sharing deals in the UK between Hutchison 3G and T-Mobile, and between Orange and Vodafone, are indicative of a trend that is set to spread across all developed markets. Network sharing will have many benefits for mobile network operators, but also represents the greatest upheaval to mobile networks in the market’s history and will present major challenges. 3G-infrastructure consolidation, to just one or two networks per country, will have profound implications for other industry players, such as equipment vendors and regulators, and will require them to adopt new strategies.

This report reviews a range of network-sharing arrangements, from site sharing to complete network sharing. It evaluates the potential cost savings arising from 3G- and 2G-network sharing and discusses a range of other benefits. The report studies the many challenges that mobile operators will face as they undertake network sharing and identifies the best approaches. It considers the strategic implications of extensive network sharing for mobile operators, equipment vendors and regulators, and defines the actions that they should take. The report includes insights into network sharing from interviews with early adopters and vendors.

3G-Infrastructure Sharing: the future for mobile networks answers your key questions:

* Why is network sharing so important now? How extensive will it be?
* What are the different types of network sharing? Which is the best approach?
* What are the potential capital and operational cost savings of network sharing, and what are the other benefits?
* What are the key challenges of network sharing and how can they be overcome?
* How do you implement a successful network-sharing project while minimising risk?
* Do operators need both 2G- and 3G-network sharing?
* How should network operators choose their network-sharing partners?
* How will network sharing affect the market for mobile infrastructure? What can equipment vendors do to protect and strengthen their businesses?
* What are the implications of network sharing for competition and regulation?

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