Shared Infrastructure Models and O-RAN Vendor Disruption - Venture Insights

Shared Infrastructure Models and O-RAN Vendor Disruption

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.


Executive summary

  • Network Sharing and Government Funding
  • Radio Access Network (RAN) Sharing
  • O-RAN

Presentation Agenda

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

Regional Rail Blackspot Coverage – Shared Infrastructure (Repeaters)

  • Victoria’s entire VLocity train fleet fitted with mobile signal boosters, delivering improved mobile coverage for all regional passengers

Regional Mobile Blackspot Coverage – Shared Network Candidate?

  • The Commonwealth and States have funded four rounds of blackspots resulting in 1,047 new base stations – with two more rounds announced – total funding/investment of $1.2B

Network Sharing and 5G Small Cells

  • Does the pressure from additional 5G infrastructure funding and a growing focus on small cells start to make infrastructure sharing look more attractive?

RAN Market Shares

  • Global telco vendor market has seen a huge amount of consolidation

O-RAN: Open Radio Access Network Alliance

  • 22 Operator Members – A disruptive play driven by MNOs for more competition (lower prices) and innovation in the RAN market
  • Response has been high with 90 Vendor/ Alliance contributors joining the alliance

List of charts/tables

Figure 1. Commonwealth Regional Blackspot Program – Rounds 1 – 4