The Mobile Telco Sector Needs to Double Down on Open Standards and an Open Playing Field

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By Jake Saunders | 1Q 2021 | IN-5999


How to Diversify the Telco Infrastructure Sector?


Over the past 25 years, the US$1.5 trillion mobile service provider economy has stimulated not only considerable innovation but also consolidation in the mobile telco infrastructure vendor sector. During that time the number of mobile telco infrastructure vendors has largely consolidated to five major end-to-end telco original-equipment-manufacturer vendors: Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE.

To a greater or lesser degree, mobile network architecture to date has been proprietary in nature as vendors have developed ultra-reliable but essentially exclusionary infrastructure and software to run their networks. However, as LTE has matured to Advanced Pro and 5G technologies have come into play, there is an increasing imperative to adopt more software-defined and cloud-native architectures to improve performance, reduce cost, and boost efficiency.

The Information Technology (IT) world has generally emphasized a high degree of interoperability that has pushed equipment to be very cost competitive, whereas the complex architectures of telco networks, legacy equi…

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