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Thursday, October 24, 2019

5G will catalyse the transformation of the telecom industry itself

This is a post that originally appeared on my LinkedIn page (see here). There are numerous additional insights in the comments.

Much of the current hype about 5G relates to business and verticals. Many claim that 5G will be a central force in "transforming" industries. 

But what people in the telecoms sector don't yet seem to realise is that the very first industry that will be transformed by 5G is.... telecoms itself. 

5G is bringing a new set of challenges and complexities - new spectrum, more need for coverage indoors & in remote areas, and new use-cases and stakeholders. 

If 5G is anywhere near as important as it's claimed, then many businesses and governments will want to own it, customise it and control it directly, not through an MNO.

Meanwhile, localised and shared spectrum, arriving at the same time as 5G (but also usable for 4G) is creating a new landscape of wholesale/neutral host players, private and community operators, cloud/Internet players with mobile assets, industrial/vertical MNOs and hybrid MNO/MVNO providers. 

The old world of mobile involved 3 or 4 national MNOs, plus some TowerCos and a few consumer MVNOs. 

The new, 5G world is much more fragmented and heterogeneous. Even as regulators look at allowing mergers of the legacy MNOs, there's a Cambrian explosion of newer, cooler, more-agile niche players emerging. 

If you're interested in this topic & want to engage more deeply, I'm running a London workshop on Neutral Host Networks on Nov 21st https://disruptivewireless.blogspot.com/p/2nd-neutral-host-networks-london-public.html 

Also, I undertake private advisory work for clients on various angles relating to future telecoms & cellular provider heterogeneity and opportunities - please get in touch to discuss your needs.
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