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Operators wrest back control from vendors in the 5G balance of power

One of the interesting facets of the 5G era is the way major mobile operators are seeking to wrest control back from the incumbent vendors. It is reminiscent of an earlier age of telecoms, when operators like AT&T and the European and Japanese incumbents designed their own technology, right down to telephones. As the industry developed, most MNOs discarded significant homegrown development of networks and devices (with a few exceptions like NTT Docomo). Some still invested heavily in R&D in order to help shape the future of their services – the UK’s BT is a good example – but at the commercial stage, they turned to their vendors to deliver the equipment. As the vendors have consolidated, operators have increasingly…

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