Wholesale network sharing – evolving the model
New ways are needed to address the issues of spectrum availability, shortage of licenses, tougher competition in the telecom sector and global financial pressure. A wholesale network-sharing model based on cooperation with a third party could unlock added value for operators, stimulating competition and overall market growth.
A well-established business model in the telecom industry, network sharing has existed in various forms since the 1980s. Many operators reap significant rewards from including some form of network sharing in their business model, which may involve roaming or site sharing, and may even go as far as the sharing of radio assets and the core network.
The wholesale network-sharing model is likely to play an important role as the pressure on margins in the telecom industry continues to mount, and new ways to counter spectrum limitations are needed. Wholesale network sharing has the potential to unlock additional value for all parties involved and improve the sustainability of the telecom industry.
Some special considerations need to be addressed as the wholesale model evolves. To unlock the additional value, industry players need to work together, with each player making a contribution based on its key capabilities.