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Will open platforms save the MNOs, or kill them?

On the road to 5G, mobile operators face all kinds of dilemmas which did not afflict their 3G or 4G strategies. One is what to do about shared spectrum. Now that cellular technologies, not just WiFi, have moved outside exclusively owned bands, MNOs could access a rich store of affordable airwaves, without having to take on the wild west of the WiFi market. But once Qualcomm pushed MulteFire, which allows LTE to run in shared spectrum without a licensed-band anchor, there was the daunting prospect of the MNOs’ chief source of power, their spectrum assets, being eroded, with the barriers to entry for alternative wireless operators being lowered significantly. The other dilemma concerns open architectures. Open interfaces and even open…

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