With mobile network operators facing increased network spend and still defining incremental 5G revenue opportunities, Venture Insights believes it is time to look again at network sharing models.
In particular we believe a focus on regional RAN sharing and small cells may be targets for either joint venture or neutral host players.
Venture estimates that Government (States/Federal) and Industry spend at the end of round 6 of the blackspot program could be as high as $1.2B. Plus there is additional regional connectivity spending from states around Australia.
Examples of blackspot funding for regional rail projects highlight the lack of benefits for all end customers from non-shared network projects versus shared.
If Governments continue to heavily subsidise regional network coverage then they should consider the customer benefits of active RAN infrastructure sharing and the use of train repeaters to maximise investment outcomes.
In addition, since these networks are capable of wireless and fixed wireless solutions, these network models should also consider the role of NBN.
Network Sharing and Government Funding
Radio Access Network (RAN) Sharing
Global Picture – Carrier Neutral Network Operators
CNNOs sell independent, carrier neutral access to network infrastructure including fiber, data centers and tower/small cell assets
RAN Sharing - Overview
There are a range of network sharing models available and whilst they have benefits, they also come with potential risks
New Zealand – Regional Blackspot Shared Infrastructure
Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) appointed August 2017 as the shared infrastructure provider for 4G mobile and wireless broadband coverage to rural New Zealand
Spark NZ and Dublin City Council trials
Spark will trial Dense Air’s network services for both 4G and 5G densification whilst Dublin City Council is focused on urban planning and rollout issues