In the past six years I wrote a considerable amount of research about telecom transformation. My idea has always been simple. There are certain assets in the digital ecosystems, which are economically more productive under the shared infrastructure model as opposed to in a competitive market. This may be for a number of reasons, including practically unlimited capacity (making duplication unnecessary), huge scale economies that lead to winner-takes-it-all outcomes, scarcity (this may be relevant for spectrum in some instances), political need for investments that would be hard to achieve commercially, national or other security considerations etc. As indicated in the above image, innovation would thrive in an environment when some infrastructure and some data are shared. The devil is in the detail though. It is far from clear which assets should be shared, when, how and who should make this happen. Telecoms and tech companies have naturally not been thrilled at the prospect of sharing assets, which they consider as their competitive advantage, too deeply.
However, the economic and political reality continues pushing the shared model. In anticipation of this I co-authored two industry trend-setting reports: Re-birth of telecom monopoly in 2014 and Re-birth of telecoms into a new digital industry in 2016. The trend towards sharing is clear, and it is sensible to ask how to best get ready for it and take advantage of it instead of just opposing it.
In autumn last year I had a pleasure to speak about these topics at the ITU Telecom World Conference in Budapest, the Connected World Summit in London and the TMT Finance World Congress in London, where I used the below presentation about ten topics that telecoms should consider ahead of 5G.
Founder, DIGITECCS Associates