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5G build-out costs have not fallen as promised; co-investment is vital

For the past few years, operators have been talking at length about how the cost of building out 5G must be radically lower than previous generations of networks, otherwise it would be impossible to achieve a viable business case. So far, nothing has changed very much from the first days of 3G and 4G. Operators may get more capacity for their money, but their absolute capex levels – not to mention opex – are looking very similar. And as at the start of 4G, there is no clear increase in ARPU, or expansion of services, on the horizon. So far, early movers are rolling out conventional macrocells to support conventional mobile broadband services. The developments that are promising to reset…

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