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Indian MNOs need a whole new infrastructure model to escape a 5G crisis

If any country needs a new set of economics before the operators deploy 5G, it’s India. The MNOs have struggled since the 2G era with excessive bureaucracy, inflated spectrum prices, very low ARPUs, challenging terrain and market over-crowding, not to mention high pressure from government to achieve lofty but often impractical national broadband goals. Some of these challenges have been reduced in recent years, mainly by consolidation of the market down to three major MNOs – Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel – plus the two state-owned companies, BSNL and MTNL. This has given the privately run survivors greater economies of scale, lower competition and greater nationwide reach. But the other factors remain unchanged, including proposals by regulator TRAI…

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