Open, disaggregated networks will transform MNOs’ 5G business cases

13 May 2020 | Research

Caroline Gabriel

Perspective | PDF (26 pages) | Next-Generation Wireless Networks

"The RAN is the most critical domain for the operator business model and the most challenging to virtualise, but open platforms will lower the barriers and accelerate the reduction in TCO."

Free perspectiveOpen, disaggregated networks will transform MNOs’ 5G business cases

Mobile ARPU has fallen significantly in the past 5 years in most regions around the world, but the mobile data traffic in many regions more than doubled each year between 2010 and 2015. Analysys Mason forecasts that it will continue to grow until 2024, at which point there will be five times as much data traffic as in 2018. Mobile network operators (MNOs) have embarked on their 5G journeys since late 2018 in the expectation that the new technology will bring additional network capacity to help them to meet demand and enable new consumer and enterprise services that will drive significant revenue growth.

MNOs recognise that very different network architecture will be required to deliver the ambitious targets that they have for 5G. Analysys Mason conducted a survey of 60 mobile operators (including Tier-1 and 2 MNOs and new entrants) and found that almost one third of MNOs are aiming to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) by 20% or more within just 3 years of deploying a new network. The ability to flexibly support a wide range of new services is even more important for smaller or new mobile network deployers because it enables them to differentiate themselves from their larger rivals.


This paper outlines three ways in which operators and network equipment vendors must work together to achieve open, multi-vendor, cloud-based networks.

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Caroline Gabriel

Research Director, expert in network and cloud strategies and architecture