Research Notes

Fastrack your knowledge with Strand Consult’s tailored workshops for the telecom industry

How to deploy 5G: Best practices for infrastructure, regulation and business models
Operators around the world are building the next and 5th generation of mobile networks. 5G is clearly an evolution, and commercial products are combinations of 4G, 5G, NB-LTE and other technologies. While 5G promises a new technological revolution, there are major regulatory challenges to deploy networks and new business models.

Strand Consult’s survey of the past 20 years of building and operating mobile networks shows that conditions for mobile operators have gotten worse, not better, for operators. The process to erect a single mobile mast/antenna can take between 12-36 months and cost €150,000 – €350,000. Policymakers and local government want to copy-paste the tower paradigm to small cell networks, a development which would kill 5G in the cradle.

While operators are stepping up their investments in spectrum, infrastructure, and technology, consumers increasingly complain about mobile coverage. Demand for data has exploded but subscriber revenues have not kept pace. As such, operators need to take concerted steps to optimize the expected benefits and costs when they deploy 5G. Operators need to learn how to rollout infrastructure, to find partners for business models, and to address the regulatory challenges that impede its business.

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Executive workshops for Top Management and Board Members in the mobile industry
Through the years Strand Consult has held numerous strategic workshops about the mobile world and how it is developing for members or whole boards of directors from companies in the mobile industry. Many workshops are focused on specific subjects and have predefined goals that have been set together with the board of directors and that are reached during the workshop.
In our experience, many companies in the mobile industry often have a board of directors that come from many different business areas. Usually we find board members from within the mobile universe together with others that have specialised in various other types of business. Furthermore a board of directors will often be incomplete without one or more board members that represent certain financial interests.
In practice the composition of a board of directors will often mirror the owners of the company and which people they believe best represent the interests of the company’s shareholders within a number of areas.
We have no desire to question how shareholders choose their board of directors, but we have often experienced that when companies in the mobile industry start discussing strategic questions, the diverse composition of the board of directors can often result in important decisions either being passed on to committees that have a certain level of insight in that area, or being based on recommendations from selected experts or the company’s management.

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Next gen telecom policy and regulation – Workshop for leaders in the telecommunications industry
In the telecom industry, regulation is not driven by market failure, but market success. In less than a generation, the telecom industry succeeded to connect nearly every person to a mobile phone and almost half of the world to the Internet. During this period, prices have fallen more than 90 percent while data volumes has increased thousands of times.

The telecom industry should be celebrated for its achievements which were largely achieved without government subsidies, but instead it is vilified as a bottleneck to the very services it delivers. Moreover, Google and Facebook get the credit for building infrastructure; they launch a few drones and balloons, but the telecom industry has invested trillions of dollars in advanced networks. Regulations such as net neutrality, roaming, municipal broadband, free Wi-Fi, online privacy, speed requirements, open access, set-top box requirements and so on are designed to divert value away from operators’ shareholders to their competitors in other industries while strengthening the authority of government.

For more than 20 years, Strand Consult has held strategic workshops for boards of directors and other leaders in the telecom industry. With this workshop concept, we have consolidated our knowledge on global regulatory trends and the experience of operators worldwide and packaged it into a workshop for professionals with responsibility for policy, public affairs, regulation, communications, strategy and related roles.

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