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Operators consider new partnerships to keep their capex bills low for 5G

One of the most important trends we track at Wireless Watch is the changing pattern of capex investment in mobile networks. Early indications are that operators will deploy 5G more gradually, in most cases, than they did 4G, using it to complement LTE rather than replace it, and spreading the spend over more years – at least a decade, according to China Mobile. They are also looking for a very different cost base, with increasingly commoditized white box hardware, even at the base station end, and a shift towards software and hosted services. Another expected change is that operators will be far more open than they were in the past to co-investment with non-traditional partners. In the past decade, where…

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