Single wholesale networks and network sharing: sharpening discussions on the 5G repercussions
Several well-known mobile industry trends have driven a steady rise in the development of network sharing deals among operators over the past 20 years. These include the rising importance of mobile broadband coverage and adoption, the increasing costs of network deployment, and the focus on sustainability concerns and creation of green, energy-efficient networks.
These same drivers can be claimed as contributing to the rationale for single wholesale network (SWN) mandates. While SWNs are much less common, there have been examples of such arrangements in Mexico and Rwanda, and most recently a high-profile plan in Malaysia. However, network sharing is fundamentally different to SWNs operationally and, importantly, in terms of outcomes.