The Future of 3G: The Case for Decommissioning

  • ID: 3454316
  • Report
  • 31 pages
  • Analysys Mason Group
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Mobile Network Operators in Developed Markets Should Consider Refarming 3G Spectrum for 4G Use, but 3G Has a Longer Life Expectancy in Emerging Markets
Operators are beginning to consider strategies for 3G network decommissioning. However, in order to pursue such a strategy operators must overcome a number of obstacles, including 3G handsets and issues related to M2M, roaming and VoLTE.

THIS REPORT PROVIDES:

- an overview of the options for the future of 3G networks
- an examination of the rationale for operators to decommission their 3G networks before their 2G networks
- an assessment of the benefits of 3G network decommissioning and the possible impediments to such a strategy
- a consideration of the circumstances under which it makes sense for operators to continue to invest in 3G.

This report analyses the future for 3G networks in light of Telenor Norway’s announcement that it intends to decommission its 3G network in 2020, 5 years before it plans to decommission its 2G network.

It discusses operators’ strategic rationale for decommissioning their 3G networks and the benefits that they main gain from doing so.

The report analyses the impediments to decommissioning or reducing investment in 3G networks. We consider these impediments according to two categories – handset-related issues and issues concerning roaming, M2M and VoLTE.

The report also provides recommendations for mobile network operators that are attempting to decide on future investments in 3G networks and possible decommissioning strategies.

It is based on several sources:

- The internal research, for example, our wireless network traffic forecasts, global telecoms market forecasts and European Telecoms Market Matrix
- interviews with stakeholders in the 3G market, for example, operators such as Telenor Norway as well as network equipment vendors.

Key Questions Answered in this Report
- What is the rationale for operators to decommission their 3G networks before their 2G networks?
- What benefits can operators derive from decommissioning their 3G network or refarming 3G spectrum, for example, in terms of cost savings and capacity benefits?
- What are the impediments to operators decommissioning their 2G and 3G networks?
- Under which circumstances does it make sense for operators to continue investing in 3G?

Who Needs to Read this Report
- Mobile network planning executives who are trying to understand the strategies of their peers with regard to continuing investments in 3G.

- Strategy teams in mobile network operators that are trying to understand the potential timelines for 3G and 2G decommissioning and the benefits that this process could bring.

- Regulators that trying to understand the benefits of spectrum refarming and 3G network decommissioning.

- Network vendors that are examining where it makes sense to continue to market 3G network equipment.

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- Singtel
- Telecom Norway
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